Issue time10:37:00 pm, by Alarra   2463 views
Categories: Games, Elder Scrolls

 

The first of two volumes in the Tales of Tamriel set came out yesterday, and I thought I'd describe what it's like in person.  In case you haven't heard of it, this is a compilation of lorebooks from ESO; the entirety of it is text that you can read in-game (or on our wiki!).  Skyrim will have a similar set, containing three volumes.

So here's a brief description of it:

  • The Cover: This is a hardcover volume. The cover itself has a smooth, soft sort of feel, the logo is embossed, and the text and design around the edge are shiny silver - pretty high quality. That brown stripe that you see in the above image is something along the lines of a dust cover I think, rather than just being something to throw away; the text and image on it are glossy. Here's what the book looks like without it:

 

  • The Content: This volume focuses on the three Alliances and their homelands, as well as some creatures; it contains both books and also some journals and the like.  A table of contents for this volume can be found here, on the wiki.  The text is as it appears in-game.  It's in a decent, readable font too; that's one thing I like: the font in the Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel, which came with the collector's edition of ESO, was made to look like it was handwritten, and it's somewhat difficult to read (nigh impossible, compared to other font, for a while after I first had eye surgery) and I appreciate this being a more regular font.

So much to read!


  • The Images: The book has illustrations on nearly every page. While we've seen some of them before in concept art, and wallpapers, and so forth, the majority are brand-new. There are both sketches and colored images.

 

 

All in all, it's a nice, high-quality collector's item for those who are fond of the lore and who want a physical copy.

Issue time11:00:00 pm, by minor edits   3954 views
Categories: UESP, Analysis

Things to know: The Tamriel Town Crier, Issue #10, was issued today, and make sure to read All Things Guar, where ZOS Esqoo of Dhalmora was kind enough to corroborate the connection between the banded guars of ESO fame and the fabled tiger guar of Morrowind lore (if you remember Lorebits from Lady Freyja).

UPDATE 04/22/2015 - The console beta starts tomorrow!!!!

Also, buy Tales of Tamriel, Vol. I: The Land, available now!

Real-world references?
You may have noticed that we don't really do trivia on the UESP much. Sometimes there's a note on a gamespace page, and very rarely a blurb about something in the Notes sections of lore pages. But by and large, most active contributors aren't interested in maintaining that stuff, and it's typically speculative assertions which just weaken the credibility of the pages overall. If you see something on a typical UESP page, we want you to be able to take it as fact, and that can be hard to do when you see a bunch of speculative trivia all over the place. It can be very hard to agree on these things, and we get enough grief over on the Easter Egg pages.

But now, we're talking about making one big page for all real-world references in TES. The kind of stuff we don't typically allow on the lore pages, like, say, similarities between Norse and Nordic culture. If you're interested in such a project, keep track of the conversation here and maybe let us know what you think.

Catch-up
I've got a backlog of stuff I've forgotten to mention, and missed a whole lot of activity on the UESP recently I'll try to catch up on. In the community, Lady Nerevar tabulated the total word count of in-game books in the TES series at just over one million. By comparison, the King James Bible reportedly comes in at about 788,000 words. On the forums, the user Alodar came up with an algorithm for exploring Daggerfall dungeons. Don't know how well it works, but I thought it was a neat idea.

Obviously, the biggest news recently has been the Welcome Back Weekend. This was directly aimed at people like me, who played the beta but didn't buy/subscribe to the game. It was fantastic to get my hands on ESO again, albeit not for as long as I would've liked. I was already pretty familiar with changes to the game, but the free weekend still helped me to come to some important conclusions.

First, while my laptop can technically run ESO, a toddler can technically stage a sit-in protest. I've waited this long, I can wait another month and a half for the console release so I can have the TES experience I want. And if they push back the console release again, I'll just take up crack.

Second, rp-ing as a mentally ill beggar is a totally viable playstyle. When you first step into Daggerfall, it's practically encouraged. I wandered around in raggedy clothing, sleeping behind buildings, threatening bards, stealing, killing anyone who shined the wrong color etc. I look forward to taking an Argonian beggar into Cyrodiil to see how that goes...

ROOOOY!!!

Third, I've picked my faction. I mean, I'll play all the factions, but you can only have one main character, you know? And that's gotta be the Daggerfall Covenant. I loved my time in Morrowind during the beta, and I imagine that the Aldmeri Dominion will have all the most brand-new interesting places, but the Daggerfall Covenant has a nice blend of both old and new. More importantly, it has something neither of the other factions ever will: Roy. Roy, whose unforgivable murder in a swamp must be solved. I didn't know Roy in life, but he must have been a saint on Tamriel. Of all the dead bodies I came across and created during my time there, his was the only one anyone seemed to care about. He is survived by his dog Giblets, who my mentally ill beggar tried to eat, but that's beside the point. Roy must be avenged. ROOOOY!!!

Transcription Errors
Unfortunately, not every so-called transcription error is evidence of a Dragon Break. And most of them are our fault. You see, oftentimes, books will get some grammar changes and other tweaks from game to game, and despite our best efforts, they haven't always been transcribed 100% correctly due to reliance on bots (or, worse still, humans). This was especially true in the transition from Daggerfall to Morrowind.

Jeancey, Jimeee, and to a much lesser extent, myself and the rest of the internet, have been combing through these books to try and make sure all the pages are being transcluded properly to each namespace. I've seen errors fixed recently that go back to Oblivion and even before!

Salache, Boiche, Moriche
Most of the time, if there's been a transcription error, it's some small grammar tweak only wiki-gnomes would notice or care about. But occasionally, it's something more significant. In the Daggerfall version of The Wild Elves, three names are given for the elven races: "Salache (or High), Boiche (or Wood), and Moriche (or Dark)". In Morrowind and beyond, these were changed to Altmer, Bosmer, and Dunmer respectively, but no one here seemed to notice (or if they did notice, didn't care to change it). Many thanks to the folks over at Classic Elder Scrolls for pointing this out. By the way, there's a new episode of Classic Mark, Classic Elder Scrolls recording right now! Redguard's a helluva drug.

Anyway, since the lore page was never updated, and all the new namespaces for the last eight years have been exhibiting the Daggerfall version of the text, we have been inadvertently introducing the Daggerfall text into the Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim namespaces. We have gotten better about checking these things over the years, so I doubt there are many examples like this left, if any. But Jeancey has been reviewing the library like crazy lately, and I'll see about helping him out to make sure we can confirm every book appears properly in every namespace. Many apologies; it seems like something someone should've caught a long time ago.

Sooo, about the Daggerfall names ... retcon, right? We can just forget about the Daggerfall names? Aside from the appearance of "saliache" in Oblivion's The Adabal-a, nothing close to them has been mentioned in any game after Daggerfall (that I can find). That is, until ESO. Among other things, The Book of the Great Tree mentions the "Salache Elves", and Aurbic Enigma 4: The Elden Tree mentions the "Boiche Elves". Anyway, there's still no mention of "Moriche" I can find ...

Issue time01:03:00 pm, by Damon   6260 views
Categories: Games, Analysis

After 8 hours or more in just two days, and after creating over 50 Sims-posts (most are still queued up and set to be staggered across the next few days since there are so many; only a relatively small handful of available to view) on my tumblr, I've decided to process my thoughts on the game and create a posting about what I think of the game after a while.

This will be a three part posting, because as a Sims fan with experience on almost all the Sims games, I have quite a bit to say about the game, and I can talk about this almost as much as I can talk about an Elder Scrolls game.

I'll start with Create-A-Sim (CAS), which is naturally the first thing you'll see after hitting "Play" on the menu for the first time. It's really the most impressive part of the new game for me, and I'm pleased that the developers have delivered on what they promised (the same can't be said for Ubisoft, but that's for a different post). It's truly the most amazing version of CAS released to date.

I love to make Sims, and it's probably my favourite part of the experience. For me, and the Simmers like me who want to just play around in CAS for hours on end, it's a dream come true. The new way of making Sims, which involves clicking on body parts to modify clothing and tweak minute details of the body is incredible. One I got into CAS for the first time, after I was able to understand the additional filters to narrow clothing selections, and after I was able to get the hang of making the small tweaks to the body mid-design, it went down really fluidly. I was able to get things like long cardigans, put them on somebody, think "I don't like the way that sits", then subtly tweak their waist or arms to adjust it.

A Sim that kinda resembles meThese tweaks come as a major improvement over the game's predecessors, where control over how the body was tweaked came down to clicking a preset body type, and then moving a handful of generic sliders that were never completely specific on what they'd do, meaning that unless you put in the time to practice with the sliders and understood what a 'pronounced cheekbone' or 'eyes up', and all that jazz meant, you became quite limited in what you could make. For me, personally, as a Simmer, that narrowed my creations down to one specific narrow type or set of types that I understood and could consistently replicate, which leads to a lot of similar Sims in the long run.

In the new CAS released with The Sims 4, even if you don't understand what a 'pronounced cheekbone' is, you still know what's visibly appealing to you as a person, so it's easy to click on the cheek and drag it until it looks right, or click on the eyes or hips and drag them 'til they look right, and I feel like that must have opened the doors to creation for a lot of Simmers, not having to work with sliders and all.

Clothing options have been improved, I feel, with a lot of variety added to the game, despite the lack of the Style Creator of The Sims 3, which enabled choosing textures, colours to a specific taste, etc. Each outfit tends to have a range of primary and secondary colours that have been paired, though it's definitely made up for with what I feel like to be increased variety overall, the most notable of which is the fact that there are a lot more shirts are sitting right with jeans on females, which means I don't have to give female Sims risqué outfits to wear at inappropriate venues, which was often the case when you wanted to pair a top with the normal-cut jeans instead of the high-waist ones.

A female Sim created in CASClothing itself is given an improvement, as far as filtering goes. When you're choosing aspects of your character, there are subsets beside the broad category of "Tops" and "Bottoms", etc, and you can filter between sweaters, hoodies, swimming tops, and more, same with the other types, making finding specific items significantly easier. The items in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 tended to have no particular order to the sorting, I felt, so you could go from shirts to tanks to suits to hoodies to v-cut shirts, etc in a way that didn't usually make sense.

As far as traits and aspirations go, in The Sims 3, you could choose five, but in The Sims 4, you can only choose three, which is moderately restricting as far as personalities go, because everyone is a little more multifaceted than what only three traits can show, though when the emotions introduced to the game (which will be the subject of a future part) are introduced, having only three traits allows the emotional system to shine through, I feel, because that means attention to detail for the things most passionate or peculiar to the Sim are able to receive extra attention to detail.

The last CAS-related thing I'll touch on are the walking styles. Though my current household only has the default walks set, because a normal walk fit their personalities and what I wanted better, there are a fair few different walking types, which enable you to fine-tune the Sim's personality. For instance, while the Sim featured above in the flannel only has a normal walk because he's a little shyer and to himself, the red-head Sim in the next image is a bit snooty, and she has a strut that reflects her imagined superiority, and it adds a nice flavour to the game, knowing from the distance that the Sim walking to you must be a train wreck from how he/she walks and talks to you.

This post is getting long, so I'll call it here, but in a few days I'll return with Part Two of my impressions on The Sims 4, and in part two, we will cover general gameplay and living the lives of the Sims, followed by a part three that, in my current planning, will cover build mode.

I don't generally self-promote, but if you want to take a look at some of my many posts and images of The Sims 4 and get some impressions on gameplay and some screenshot variety prior to the formal posts where I actually analyse things, you can click this link, which will take you to all the posts on my blog that are tagged as being from The Sims 4.

Issue time12:25:00 am, by minor edits   4260 views
Categories: UESP, Analysis

ZoS is releasing Patch 2.0.4. They also released a new article, Reflecting on ESO's First Year, and Bethesda highlighted a fan tribute from Elloa commemorating the anniversary.

We're a little over a quarter of the way into 2015, and so far this year, over 1,000 new ESO articles and counting have been created. That doesn't include redirects, but does include many pages still waiting to be fleshed out. All you lurkers out there: there's nothing wrong with just dumping info, especially if you find a blank page about a topic you know something about. Don't worry about grammar, links, etc., if you don't have the time or knowledge. That's what the rest of the internet is for. But if you know even the bare essentials on a topic, a single sentence is infinitely preferable to nothing at all.

As of the time I write this, somewhere between 25-35 new lore articles have been created this year, not including book pages. Over 80% of them were put together by Legoless. This Irish robot has made over 500 edits in less than a month.

While that's a jaw-dropping rate of activity, Enodoc has been just as active, and Shuryard has had 500 edits in less than two weeks. Speaking of Shuryard, check out this heartbreaking work of staggering genius. Our actual Provisioning page is still woefully incomplete, but thanks to Shuryard, the arguably more important Provisioning Ingredients page is now up to date and beautifully arranged. It will tell you about not only the current arrangement established by Update 6, but illustrate how it differs from the old system.

Only about a dozen other contributors have exhibited activity roughly on the same level this year. I'm too lazy to list you all, but you're all aces in my book. And that's not to diminish the contributors out there who've helped on smaller scales; thank you all for taking the time to assist the project!

Skywind 0.9.6 Progress Update

Skywind is moving forward, but it will still be quite a while before it is completed. You can help keep it moving by becoming a patron.

Trades Welcome!
Dominus Arbitrationis set up a place for ESO Item Requests! Now, you don't have to leave the comfort of the UESP in order to make a trade.

I can't read Dom's name without thinking of this.

Hurricane Jeancey has hit!
Editors tend to go on editing sprees. They're furiously active for a while, take a break, and then come back. As I prepare this, the UESP is being ruthlessly inspected by Jeancey, who's a great example of this pattern. I think of him as a Quality Assurance expert, one of the folks who really sets the UESP apart. He brings unrelenting order to the madness, then disappears, only to return with a vengeance ... actually, a bit like Jyggalag.

Jyggcey ... no, Jeanalag!

Ogling the Mazken

In Daggerfall, the Dark Seducer was a beautiful topless winged demon. In Battlespire, she was still a winged demon, but kept her top on like a bloodthirsty prude. By the time of Oblivion, the Seducer had unfortunately lost her wings, and even worse, put on even more clothing, including a weird shell helmet of some kind. In ESO, she got a bit of cleavage back, which is a good step in the right direction (you got stuck with the mature rating, ZoS; you might as well embrace full frontal). Anyway, now, the helmets seem to be consuming the Seducers' heads? Not sure what's going on there. If there is a quest which requires the Seducers to wear virtual reality visors, then that makes perfect sense.

Answers and Questions
Since last time, as you probably already know, ZoS came out with this bit of awesome, a Crown Store Showcase, and also had another ESO Live.

You can hear Loremaster Lawrence Schick role-play the scholar Phrastus of Elinhir here. I love the lore, but I haven't listened to this yet. I've been cringing inwardly since I heard about it. The last time the devs tried to role-play in public, things got ugly.

This situation seems to be a whole lot different, in that it's just Schick providing some background lore, using Phrastus as a mouthpiece. He's not raping Daedric Princes or contriving an epilogue for ESO ... as far as I know.

Forum Crawling
Currently, players don't seem to be receiving XP for completing Dark Anchor Dolmens. They're fixing it, but for the moment, you might want to find something else to kill time in ESO. Also, the Palomino horse is coming to the Crown Store.

Players reported that they developed super powers as a result of a bug. You know, like Spider-man. Players reported "super hearing"; they could hear audio cues from the activities of other players from much farther away than they were supposed to. I'm not sure if this has been addressed yet; there's no mention of it I saw in the latest patch notes. But in the meantime, you all are honor-bound to use your powers only for good.

Issue time07:14:00 pm, by Damon   4342 views
Categories: Games

Man, I am on a roll with this whole "blogging" thing. Between my personal blog that I won't link to and promote as random spam and my game reviews/impressions that I share on the UESP blog, I'm on my 5th blog post in the last week.

Anyway, I want to do an impressions post on the first couple of hours of my first playthrough of Infamous: Second Son on the Playstation 4. This isn't anything more than a disorganised ramble, because I've accumulated about 5 hours on the game, and I've written down my thoughts beforehand... Each time I blog, I make one draft, and that's what I post with little revision. :p

In short, it's a pretty great game. You play as Delsin Rowe, an Akomish Native American living in Washington. He's dressed up like your stereotypical emo brat with a vest full of patches and pins and an beanie, and the story opens up to him vandalising a billboard on his reservation. Very nice start to the game... Just what I wanted to do was play as an emo Indian.

Anyway, he quickly gets found by his brother Reggie, the local sheriff, and Reggie's berating him is interrupted by a Conduit, a being with supernatural powers that I don't understand because I didn't play the previous titles. Anyway, he accidentally gives Delsin some of his powers, and Delsin becomes a conduit with fire powers, and he chases after the Conduit who turned him, because he threatened the tribe, and then the DUP, the Department of Unified Power, which is a bastardly evil military organisation that's occupying Seattle and the surrounding area in an attempt to stamp out the very few remaining conduits (or "bio-terrorists as DUP calls them), shows up, and they attack Betty, an elderly Tribal lady and torture the tribe searching out the conduits in the area, and Delsin resolves to take care of them.

That's the gist of it without spoiling it. I'm not that far into the story, because once I got to Seattle, I started exploring instead of actually doing the missions. The gameplay is gorgeous, it's fluid, and I was quickly doing awesome stuff with his superpowers, which include turning into smoke and using air ducts to fly up to the roof, using parkour free-running to climb, shooting firebombs, etc. It's quite fun.

Delsin actually isn't that bad of a protagonist as far as emo teenagers go. He's got the kind of banter that reminds me of the old Spiderman PS2 games that had witty dialogue in them for about every scenario, and it's actually fun to go tagging, fighting, or doing random things just to hear what he has to say.

The highlight of the game so far has to be climbing up the Space Needle in Seattle and having the big showdown on it with the first real "boss" in the game. The view was amazing up there! It was incredible to look down and see the whole city and see the mountains and the Puget Sound, although the gameplay does not extend beyond the two islands that make up "Seattle".

All in all, though, it's  a fun game, and I thoroughly am enjoying it. Once I finally beat it, there's definitely going to be a review of this, I believe. It's a great game.

Also, as a completely unrelated nostalgia thingy that has no bearing on this game or the UESP, I found an old video I made with one of my mates when we were cooking fries at 3am one night and needed busy work. 

The original idea was to make a full feature film, but as you kno there was a recession and since it was only 2011 our budget was cut, then there was a catastrophic hard-drive failure, so we had to salvage what we had left and make an iMovie template for the trailer... That is, of course, a complete lie, but it's my lie, so I'm telling it the way I want to. This trailer is just rubbish. :)