Category: "UESP"

Revision History: Silence, My Brother

  06:14:00 pm, by   , 309 words  
Viewed 4466 times since 05/01/15
Categories: UESP, Analysis

Our top news of the day: a big welcome back to The Silencer! He may be in the top ten for all-time edits on the site, but what really matters to me is having another cranky old gamer around to keep all you whippersnappers in your place.

I don't mean to diminish the incredible Ranks and Hierarchy of the Daedra, the new addition to the Loremaster's Archive released earlier today. This is so awesome, in so many ways ... there really are no words.

I lost my card and had to get it replaced. Without any warning, my ESO Imperial Edition preorder was canceled, and I was not allowed to reinstate it. No call or email, no reasonable time for me to update the order, just poof, gone. "No Imperial Edition for you; would you like a $10 gift card to go with that kick to the balls?" I didn't know I could be this angry over a video game without a corrupt save file being involved. But in keeping with the theme of this blog, I'm going to remain silent on which incompetent retail chain is responsible. Not that I have to; think "incompetent retail chain", and they're probably what come to mind nowadays.

There are so many things to say about the last ten days, it's mind-boggling, and I do have to highlight a couple. I mean, Skyrim was free for a weekend, there was an ESO console beta, an ESO Live, GStaff posted the best ESO screenshot yet, and a new Crown Store Showcase was just released. And on the UESP, editors are just ripping through the site like tsunamis. Edit - and Shuryard became a full-fledged Patroller!!!

But let's see, anything else, any other gigantic events in the TES community since last time which deserve notice ... hmm, nope. Pretty status quo. Just glad to have the Silencer back. :)

 PermalinkLeave a comment »

Revision History: Catching up after the Welcome Back Weekend

  11:00:00 pm, by   , 1101 words  
Viewed 4466 times since 04/21/15
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 ...

Revision History: ESO Year One

  12:25:00 am, by   , 831 words  
Viewed 4686 times since 04/07/15
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.

Revision History: Pre-Order Tales of Tamriel, Vol. 1 - The Land

  09:58:00 pm, by   , 288 words  
Viewed 6499 times since 03/25/15
Categories: UESP, Analysis

Pre-order Tales of Tamriel here!

Make no mistake: 2015 is the best year ever to be an Elder Scrolls fan! There's crazy amounts of stuff going on, and I'll cover as much as possible next time. It's never been the plan to make these blogs so frequently, but these are a few awesome highlights I didn't want to wait on!

For one, The Tamrielic Town Crier came out yesterday. I just call it Required Reading.

And I have just kept forgetting to bring this up: Portable Skyrim!

Plug.dj
Rose of Sithis started a plug.dj room for the UESP forums:

Plug.dj is a website that allows people to connect through music. You can create a room in which people can socialise. People can create their own playlist and put songs into their playlist and can choose to be in DJ queue and get the chance to share their songs with the room's audience. There's a chat which you can communicate to each other and there's also avatar customisation which you can change your look in plug.dj. It's a fun website which is very user friendly.

To quote AKB on the forum topic, "I have no clue what this is, but I am intrigued."

What About Boob Window?
Enodoc just created Online:Abbreviations and Terms. To me, this might be the most helpful and informative ESO page on the UESP to date. I'm sure it will only get better as things get added and player slang changes.

This is basically an Urban Dictionary for ESO. If you know of any common ESO terms which aren't on there, please add them! Or make a talk page suggestion, as I imagine that will eventually have to become a mandatory step for this page anyways.

Revision History: ESO Drops Mandatory Subscription

  10:26:00 pm, by   , 1683 words  
Viewed 8322 times since 03/22/15
Categories: UESP, Analysis

With the mandatory subscription gone, I can only assume ESO has seen a massive influx of new and returning players. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the UESP is seeing a small rise in new and returning contributors (welcome back, RIM!).

Update 3/23/2015- A new addition to the Loremaster's Archive is available, Songs of the Stars!

Public Service Announcement: The General Namespace
Some might not realize that the UESP has a General namespace, which is meant to provide general information related to the Elder Scrolls games. And unlike the Lore namespace, there are relatively few restrictions regarding how content is added and presented. This is the part of the site that is really dedicated to everything Elder Scrolls, but it hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. Developer information and interviews, coverage of fan fiction and other TES-related websites, etc. There's even a whole page for the Fishy Stick meme, and I'm sure there must be others we could cover. Why not have a page about the Boob Window, for example?

There's a lot of room for expansion in the General namespace, so please, share your thoughts on the Community Portal and/or the New Page Requests page if you have some ideas on what you'd like to see. Anyone can go right ahead and make improvements, of course, but for bigger additions, you're less likely to face any friction by getting some input from other contributors first.

What did you think they meant by "loyalty"?
The final Loyalty Rewards were distributed March 19, with the "loyaliest" people getting the Striped Senche-Tiger mount shown above. Thanks for paying to beta-test the game for us, folks; enjoy your cats and what-not.

Absolutely kidding! If you've been happy with your experience, fantastic, and I know a lot of people are. But I also know some people, like this guy, are feeling a little ripped off. To anyone out there who feels the way he does: sorry, and I really honestly can't thank you all enough! I hope you have still gotten a lot of enjoyment from the game and will continue to enjoy it.

If you see someone with one of these rewards, give them a bow. And maybe a sweetroll.

I want a flying minotaur, Jedi, a Dwemer airship, a BFG, levitation, Muatra, Master Chief, cars...
I really hope everyone out there is posting their wishlists for items available in the Crown Store. Let 'em know what you want to see in there, and just as importantly, what you don't want to see.

As it stands, there's some concern that some items might be a bit too generous, and risk turning the game into a Pay to Win arrangement.

Lag: They're working on it
Some players are really aggravated by latency in large-scale PvP battles, which are often creating essentially unplayable conditions depending on the number of players in close proximity to each other. According to Paul Sage, they'd hoped that Update 6 would help alleviate problems. This ultimately didn't work, but they're not giving up:

Actively, we are looking at changing the behavior of the players to remove incentives for large groups to stay in the same area. We want to do this by providing larger incentives for Alliances to split up and take on multiple-challenges in Cyrodiil. We’ll continue to work on this.

They are already pursuing changes to experience gains in trials and Cyrodiil, see here and here.

By the way, whenever the official site asks me for my age, I select April 1, with the oldest year option they have. I'm pretty sure that used to be 1899 or 1900, but now it's 1915, so ... I have discovered the Fountain of Youth.

Enlightenment Accrual Stretched to 12 Days

As discussed here, a day's worth of Enlightenment is needed to accrue a Champion Point each day (at a reasonable rate). Previously, you could only accrue Enlightenment for three days before it was capped. So if you didn't pick up the game and earn some XP after three days, you were bound to leave Enlightenment on the table.

In what seems to be a big crowd-pleaser, this cap has been raised to 12 days. This gives players a lot more freedom to set the game down for a while, and then binge on ESO as they see fit while still leveling efficiently.

The Grand ESO Mining Operation
Looking at the enormous range of placeholder pages, icons, etc., which are flooding onto the wiki, it's abundantly clear that we have a long road ahead. We now have roughly 10,000 pages and counting which are blank or close to it. It seems like it's going to take a decade, if not longer, to put all the meat on these bones.

I'm in. Come June, that is.

Perfecting Oblivion
While the pioneers are mining that new frontier, SerCenKing has been moving forward with the Oblivion NPC Redesign Project. He's put the finishing touches on a few pages recently, such as Bhisha from the Shivering Isles.

A cat? Who likes dogs?! My mind can't handle this madness!

Tamriel Rebuilt charges on
Despite all the buzz about ESO and other newer projects, people shouldn't forget that Tamriel Rebuilt is still slowly but surely moving forward. I just got Morrowind for PC, and I look forward to finally seeing Tamriel Rebuilt for myself. I've been reading about it jealously for years.

Just recently, the modder Glisp got the Esurio Viridius working! This was a giant, very grumpy venus flytrap which was planned for the very first version of Tamriel Rebuilt, but was scrapped due to bugs. They'll continue polishing it, if history is any judge, but check out an early demo below.

Now I want giant flytraps in ESO.

Random Stories of Seyda Neen
While perusing Tamriel Rebuilt's forums, I noticed that they have been having a discussion for about a month regarding Seyda Neen. They've got plans for a big Dwemer lighthouse, but there's concern over how it might contradict some lore about Seyda Neen's lighthouse, the Grand Pharos. While I can't be sure, I think this may have inspired a recent reddit topic, which then elicited an interesting backstory for the Grand Pharos from Michael Kirkbride. And all of this discussion naturally inspired a fan fiction.

After reading all that, I then got inspired to polish up the Seyda Neen lore page a little. There's no point here, I just found that interesting.

Final thoughts on the mandatory subscription - tl;dr
TES games have always been a cheap option. Since Arena all the way to Skyrim, the cost of the games are absolutely miniscule compared to the hours of enjoyment you can squeeze out of them, even if you're a filthy console player like me without access to mods. While you can't judge all facets of the matter so quantitatively, the fact remains that for much of the last two decades, TES has been a great option for penny-pinching gamers. Often the best option. I believe that this is a core strength of the TES franchise. But the mandatory subscription for ESO made their TES experience one of the most expensive gaming prospects out there.

I think, when the marketers decided on the pricing model, they overlooked this somewhat implicit expectation of the existing TES fanbase in favor of what they thought the existing MMO community would tolerate. Don't forget, they hyped the crap out of ESO before announcing the mandatory sub. And how could any existing TES fans at the time give appropriate feedback on the game's quality when they didn't know how much it would cost them?

People like me, and I think most diehard TES fans, are not done with a TES game "after three or four weeks". That's not how we play the games. Three or four years, on and off, is probably a better estimate (although I personally trend higher). A monthly subscription is entirely antithetical to how I, for one, enjoy playing the games.

Point is, while the MMO crowd may tolerate and even appreciate subscriptions for "keeping the riff-raff out", much of the existing TES community was not, and is not, tolerant of this model, and that doesn't make them all riff-raff. These are people who remember the Horse Armor Pack in Oblivion, as well as Hearthfire, the so-called "major" expansion to Skyrim. These are fans who, in other words, are justifiably reticent to pay for any and all premium TES content up front, without regard for its ultimate merit. That Zenimax is a different developer dealing in a different genre is irrelevant; Bethesda's "sister company" should still have appreciated and understood the history fans have had with the IP. I get where they were coming from - but I don't think they got where many of us were coming from. Or else they just didn't care.

I think it's fair to assume that a great percentage of TES fans have been forced not to play ESO due to their financial circumstances. I thought this was a tragedy, because there but for the grace of God go I. I was willing and able to pay a subscription, but I was and am also more than willing to tolerate free-loaders. The more, the merrier, as far I'm concerned. By making the barrier for entry so high relative to what it had been in the past, they were retarding their own game's potential by shutting out a lot of TES players. People whose love of the games is not determined by the size of their wallets - or their apprehension at being fleeced.

Anyway, the mandatory sub is gone now, and I hope the door hits its ass on the way out. Let us never speak of it again.

Bravo, Zenimax! You are inarguably making one of the best TES games of all time... for PCs, at least. Any TES fan who remembers the debacles with the PS3 version of Skyrim should reserve judgment on console ports until they see the final version, regardless of the developer. But my Imperial Edition is pre-ordered and I look forward to subscribing, because the last thing any of us want is for another TES masterpiece to be left unfinished.