Category: "UESP"

Revision History: RIP Terry Pratchett

  11:02:00 pm, by   , 867 words  
Viewed 10826 times since 03/13/15
Categories: UESP, Analysis

Sir Terry Pratchett, who recently passed away surrounded by his family, was a satirist of the highest caliber. TES fans probably know him best for his numerous internationally-renowned fantasy novels, but as I learned recently (thanks, Damon), many PC players also remember and celebrate his collaboration in the Companion Vilja mods for Oblivion and Skyrim (see here and here respectively). Anyway, he will be missed.

Level Up
On a brighter note: Shuryard has become the UESP's latest Userpatroller! It's definitely well-deserved; she's quickly become one of the most prominent ESO editors on the site.

ESO Updates

Zenimax released The Tamriel Town Crier, Issue #7, and the latest installment of ESO Live was just uploaded here.

Edit- A quick breakdown of the ESO Live video, if you don't want to invest an hour: they're working on fixing Enlightenment issues for the next patch which are preventing some people from accumulating Champion Points. People really want their boob windows back. Reducing/removing shoulder pads was offered as a good way to make female characters appear more feminine, but they have no plans to delve into something like this at the moment. The new system for mounts has limited players' ability to customize their mounts. Zenimax wants to reintroduce customization options, but there's no immediate timeline. They're looking into increasing XP rewards in certain circumstances, such as in PvP, and might have an update regarding this in about a week. There was some talk (in the chat) about a new bug which prevents players from getting on a mount for up to several minutes after combat ends, and hopefully that will be resolved (apparently, vampires are having trouble using skill drains, too). Regarding the Justice system: they're in an observation phase for the time being, to see how people utilize it, but they have big plans to expand upon it in the future. For now, they continue to work on Orsinium - and the Imperial City.

News on Patch 1.6 is overwhelming; throw a rock and you'll find something. It has also been overwhelmingly positive, though I've seen suggestions that latency issues in PvP continue to effect a lot of players, perhaps even moreso after the patch. If you're having this problem, it's unlikely you're going to be doing any better when the mandatory subscription ends on March 17. But let's hope it's on the dev's radar.

A Freaking Gold Mine
Following Patch 1.6 for ESO, fans have been "data-mining" like crazy. I don't pretend to know exactly what it all entails, but I'm pretty sure it involves a Star Trek TNG episode where Mark Twain hung out with Whoopi Goldberg. Anyway, Daveh, Enodoc & Co. are steadily integrating the new icons, maps, etc., into the site.

Jimeee the Archivist, who recently completed a revamp of the Lore Library's main page, has been adding new books like Ysmir the Forefather, Volume IV and The Oath of Light. This stuff is simply blowing my mind. The next three months might as well be a year. It sucks being a console peasant (hey, I can say that; that's our phrase).

Rumors of the Spiral Skein is an older ESO book which we've somehow overlooked, but it's available now. Legoless has moved the page for Mephala's realm and updated it a bit. A good job, as always, but the thought of a Daedric Tower, and thus the potential for a host of other new Towers, is making my brain hurt. I mean, it's been indicated that there are Towers we don't know about, but Daedric Towers... ow.

Ark'ay, der Gott
Pursuant to this conversation, there's a Daggerfall page now set up for Ark'ay, der Gott, the German version of Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death. Apparently, under rare and unknown conditions, you could actually find a German copy of the book in the English version of the game! Talk about a collectible.

Recent Changes

UESP forum administrator Alarra has been busy adding amazing screenshots like this one. Among other things, she has also been helping to update our Names appendices with ESO info. The neverending goal: to document each and every name for every person of every race in the games. If you think that's an easy project, I've got a Welcome template to add to your talk page. This is TES - documenting even something as straightforward as people's names is a job which is way too big for one person. Help out if you can!

It seems Forfeit is hard at work on the Morrowind Overhaul Project, which is aimed at bringing the Morrowind namespace up to par with the namespaces for the more recent games. He recently polished up the page for Skyrim's Deekus and filled out his schedule. I noticed talk page comments from 2013 suggest that Deekus is nonhostile to werewolves in Beast Form. There are dozens of unconfirmed bugs related to Beast Form, but if you're looking for something to do with your werewolf in Skyrim and you haven't already killed Deekus, stop by his camp when you're hairy and see how you two get along.

I'm skipping over a bunch of stuff, but I'll try to catch up next time. For now, I'll just leave you with Lorebits from Lady Freyja. Mmm, Morrowindy.

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Revision History: Patch 1.6

  11:19:00 am, by   , 953 words  
Viewed 9350 times since 03/08/15
Categories: UESP, Analysis

We're very focused on business on the wiki. Which is great, because stuff gets done. But it's also a shame, because some events and achievements deserve a little more attention than a passing position on the Recent Changes list. We've got the news section on the main page, but that typically just covers the really big stories, and only briefly at that. There's always something happening on the site or in the greater TES community which is worth taking some time to acknowledge. So that's what Revision History is going to do.

My regret is that I can't possibly give everyone their due, and for that, I apologize. There's just too much happening. I mean, two decades later, and we're still touching up Arena content. Whether you're welcoming newcomers, answering questions, bringing the iron fist of justice to some unruly spam bots, or just hanging out in the forums, you all continue to astound me every day.

I really want to keep track of this stuff just so I can continue to learn more about this amazing series and community. If you have something to correct or something you want to add, please comment. You can also drop me an email or go to my talk page if you have a suggestion. Popular new TES sites, ESO events, a Youtube channel you like, a PSA, your favorite flipping fan fiction, I'll give anything TES-related some consideration. I'm especially interested in new developments related to the UESP itself, though, because if we don't talk about it, no one will. There's a lot of ground to cover for this initial entry, so let's get to it!

Patch 1.6
With Patch 1.6 for ESO now released, it seems many PvPers are struggling to determine how to best take advantage of the changes to the skills (which I suppose is the point). I thought videos from Deltia's Gaming helped give me a decent handle on the substantial changes and what they would mean for the game.

UespLog AddOn needs some tweaking in light of Patch 1.6. Any PC players using it, please report any problems on the article's talk page, and thank you so much for continuing to help the UESP gather data from the game. It's all way over my head, but I hope others are able to put it to good use.

This patch has changed a ton; some are saying it's like a whole new game in many respects. We'll be struggling to catch up to it for a while. But then, we were struggling to catch up before the patch. Please be patient, and help out if you can!

Hail, Doyen!
The recent addition to the ESO Loremaster's Archive, A Loathsome Civilization, left me giddy. I've seen some references to the Sload before which make me suspect ZoS is building up to a Sload storyline, so just the fact that they decided to focus on the slugmen now sent me off speculating like crazy.

On top of that, Doyen Legoless of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits posed another damn good question during a brief moment where he wasn't adding some new ESO-related thing to the site. I don't know where he finds the time. I don't think he sleeps. Maybe it's an Irish thing.

I have to say that "Bertille Montrose" really had the best question, though. Sload Soap was this weird alchemy ingredient which has been making Morrowind fans do double takes for years. "What, wait the hell is in this basket? Sload ... soap?" It's wonderful to have such a disgusting clarification on the nature of the stuff.

Forgive me, Doyen.

Sidebar Updates

The UESP sidebar has gotten some work, but I think it still needs some more. It seems at this point like we should just lump all DLCs into "Official Add-Ons" links, as the current distinctions seem incongruous. Share your thoughts on the Community Portal (even though I've somehow neglected to do so).

A Squeak of Ice and Fire
IceFireWarden recently shared his incisive summary of Jel, the mysterious grunty-squeaky language of the Argonians which has long been under-documented on the UESP. I wish we knew more about it. IFW's translation for "Xhuth" is a little daring, but reading between the lines, it seems to be what the author of the novels intended. Anyways, many thanks!

Je ne savais pas que
I'm a nutso lore maniac, if you hadn't guessed, and learning something new about TES lore is always fun to me. Recently, Lady Freyja, administrator of the French wiki Le Grande Bibliothèque de Tamriel, has pointed out a few fascinating lore nuggets, such as an expanded French version of the Monomyth from Morrowind (found here). She has also been adding some bits of Skyrim lore which can only be found in the official Prima guide.

Meanwhile, Archivist Jimeee has been really living up to the title, and is cataloging ESO books faster than I can read them!

FA Nominations Needed!
Lore:Skyrim is due to be taken off the main page on March 25. Ideally, we should have another article successfully nominated and ready to go as our new Featured Article by then. ESO articles would be great right now, but feel free to nominate any UESP page you find really impressive! New nominations for Featured Images would also be great, though we've got a bit more time to work with there.

Up Next
I plan to make these regularly, but how regularly will depend on activity levels (both my own and the community's). But the mandatory subscription plan for ESO ends on March 17! So if there's not much else going on, I'm sure I could make a rant or twenty related to all that. :D

K, I'ma go watch Classic Elder Scrolls.

AKB's Auto Korrect Blog: A Brief History of the UESP

  03:38:00 am, by AKB   , 1617 words  
Viewed 25344 times since 08/28/14
Categories: UESP
I wonder what the name of the sword is...

The UESP has expanded tremendously over the last few years, almost too fast for even an administrator like me to keep up all the time. As it turns out, when your site doubles the number of articles it has in less than a year, some people might lose the script. It doesn't help that we haven't been exactly diligent with recording our site's history. Okay, technically we've recorded every single thing we've ever done, but that doesn't count. I want an easy to read version. But when you're the nth generation user of a website which has gone through several different versions, additions, and changes, it's hard to retroactively fix this issue. And it is an issue, we might have really grown in more directions than we can comfortably track. For example, were you, dear reader, aware that the UESP has a Youtube Channel? Because I wasn't. I AM AN ADMINISTRATOR OF THIS SITE, AND I DID NOT KNOW WE HAVE A YOUTUBE ACCOUNT. Thankfully, no one else noticed it, but that channel is just the ultimate sign of how some confusion may crop up as a site expands if it does not keep a user friendly site history up to date. For goodness sake, our website is almost 21, in a little while it'll be old enough to drink... and I already made that joke in the last blog entry.

But in the interest in not doing another rant, I'm going to try to do a basic overview of the UESP's history. I'll give it an honesty try, at least. So here's A Brief History of the UESP From the Point of View of Someone Who Missed the Majority of it, But His Parts Are the Best Anyway So That Doesn't Really Matter, which you can see after the break.

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AKB's Auto Korrect Blog: 20th Anniversary Blues

  11:15:00 pm, by AKB   , 965 words  
Viewed 16615 times since 08/19/14
Categories: Elder Scrolls, UESP, Rants
What it all comes down to

You know what I hate? Complaining. Yes, I understand the intense irony of that claim, but it's absolutely true. I know that most of my blog posts are nothing but barely concealed rants about the smallest details relating to the series, ranging from complaining about swimming mechanics to lengthy tirades over a simple question, but that's not the kind of person I truly like to be. I don't like complaining about things I don't like, I think it's unhealthy for the mind to be focused on the negative. So in a daring move to free myself from these corrupting impulses, I spent the last few months meditating on any blog topic that would not revolve around some niggling little issue. So after that prolonged absence, I have returned with more minor issues to drone on about. Today, specifically on my mixed feelings about the twentieth anniversary of the Elder Scrolls franchise. See the rest after the break.

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On Our Lore Standards

  03:13:00 pm, by   , 1085 words  
Viewed 12878 times since 04/13/14
Categories: UESP, Rants

The UESP's lore section is always a work in progress, and we encourage people to contribute to it. News flash: Perfection Isn't Required! Add as you see fit! We're here to help you add reliable and verifiable info, not hinder you.

Anyway, the following are my thoughts on what we're trying to do with the lore section. TL;DR, unless you're bored.

Creating the lore of the Elder Scrolls is an interactive process. Always has been, to some degree or another. The developers look to what the fans are thinking and taking away from their games, and it influences how they make content moving forward. They are collecting stories, information, how we view the world they created and are continuing to create, and then picking the bits they liked best. You may have noticed allusions to this process by the developers, in-game and otherwise.

The problem is, not all lore is the same. There's official lore, and unofficial lore. Notice, I'm not talking about whether something is "canon". Look at the lore guidelines. There's nothing about "canon" in there. Rather, we're talking in terms of in-game lore and out-of-game lore (OOG). "In-game" in practice means "official", as we have treated anything which has Bethesda's formal, official "stamp of approval" as "in-game" for our purposes. The novels, game manuals, pocket guides, and spin-off games, for instance. (Update - the guidelines have been revised to acknowledge this official/unofficial distinction.)

Then, there's unofficial lore. This is stuff which the greater community is familiar with, most notably the works of the prolific TES contract writer and former developer Michael Kirkbride, but which has not been expressly incorporated into the games or other official supplements to the game world. Many of the people here love it, myself included. Many excellent sites cater to this unofficial lore, and I will avoid mentioning names only because I don't want to insult anyone by omitting them. Go out there, find them, absorb their stories, pick the stuff you like best, and make that your Elder Scrolls. This is your "monkey truth".

Time and again, the developers have acknowledged bits and pieces of monkey truth. It is by definition the stuff so good that it should have been in the games, so naturally, they feel need to incorporate it in some way moving forward. So go out there are pick it, you monkeys!

But catering to this unofficial lore has never been our purpose. We're here to provide accurate and verifiable information.

This policy has been criticized, because so much monkey truth has proven to be "accurate and verifiable", and it seems like understanding the Elder Scrolls requires some understanding of it. Sometimes, if you want to understand what something in-game is referring to, you need to know something they have never made explicit in the games.

This is why we allow some OOG citations, preferably when they have the blessing of the community, when it helps to explain in-game content.

But sometimes it feels like a disservice to a topic to include some of its points but not all. And some OOG writings are more widely known and cherished by the Elder Scrolls fanbase than the finer points of, say, Battlespire lore. So why not document everything? Short answer: because the game developers did not see fit to do so.

Apparently, when Jimeee explained to Michael Kirkbride why it was unlikely his stellar OOG epic c0da would be documented by the UESP, he replied, "Whatever, wiki-man. Your site always plays catch up. It always has."

A valid criticism. But also a compliment, in a way. The UESP is not really concerned with documenting where the Elder Scrolls is going. We're here to document where it has been. It necessarily entails that we are always striving to catch up, and never inventing.

While many of us here are big fans of the monkey truth and we all have our own personal headcanon, this site is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the content. The UESP is like pings of sonar between submarines. With every revision, we say "This is where I'm at. Where are you all now?" Imagine if we all included our own OOG headcanon into the quest guides. No, we couldn't knowingly allow anything that was not accurate and verifiable by the standards of the community in those. And it can't be any different in the lore section. We compromise this only when we're forced to, when doing so is necessary to provide contextual information on something which the developers have not adequately explained in-game. It is ancillary to explaining the in-game content.

But why not do away with OOG altogether? All or nothing? Well, again, because we're being forced to flesh out articles. And if I have to do some necessary elaboration in an article concerning a topic which is never properly elucidated in the games, relying on Michael Kirkbride's words, official or not, is bound to be more reliable than utilizing my own personal, vague impressions.

I've heard rumors that some game developers have been known to check on us once and a while. This is both the greatest complement we could possibly receive, and terrifying, because I'm terribly aware of how much work we still need to do.

But could you blame them? Even if each person there knows every bit of past TES lore off the top of their heads (and who does?), they've got their own "Bible" of secrets about the world, I'm sure. How are they supposed to keep track of what their audience already knows and what only they know about the Elder Scrolls lore? Keep in mind, they're just a group of people, and individuals come and go with each game. How are they supposed to keep the world they've built as consistent as possible from game to game, and thereby preserve that all-important element of immersion for their RPG series?

Well, that's what the UESP lore section is here to do: we're chopping out all that unnecessary game-mechanic info which is specific to each game, and saying, "This is what we've been told, this is where we've been, as completely and as accurately as we can convey it given our limited manpower."

The only thing we need to do this job right? More people, helping the cause! So if a more consistent, vivid, immersive TES world is something you want, help us make sure that your fellow fans and possibly even the architects of your favorite series are all on the same page. Or Pages.