Untitled Post (couldn't think of a creative name)

  01:24:00 am, by Damon   , 608 words  
Viewed 27713 times since 10/28/14
Categories: Misc

Alright, I'll say it. I came into The Elder Scrolls and UESP with Morrowind, I've looked at Morrowind more often than the other games, and the layout of the Morrowind namespace is something I'm absolutely in love with. If I could have my way, the entire namespace would become the standard for what our location pages should look like.

When you look at the Balmora place page from Morrowind., you get a lovely layout with a banner saying things such as "People", "Travel", "Notes", "Quests", etc, and the page goes on to describe the town district by district with a plethora of pictures to show off the life of the city and how it looks. The sections below it detail the people of note, detail roads leading into and out of town and where they go to, and the "Places of Note" section briefly taps on the nearest points of interest. Reading the page feels more like a guide than a wall of text, and the layout is clean and, thanks to the nav bar that functions as a table of contents, navigable... Something that can't be said about the other pages on the newer namespaces, which don't have a TOC, because it would look out of place with the as-is layout.

The Chorrol page from Oblivion is more in line with a standard article page, and it's significantly less detailed. It offers a brief mention of the districts in its sole descriptive paragraph, then it notes a varla stone's location in town and a note of the statue's resemblence to a real world one. Then the long wall of quests before finishing with the map.

Riften's page from Skyrim is slightly better, going into better detail about the locations in town, though it's a solid wall of text that doesn't have any breaks or any kind of flair to make it easier to read and look at before the standard table of residents and quests.

Don't get me wrong, the latter pages are functional as-is (or at least nobody has complained about the layout), but what makes these pages interesting to look at? What makes these pages navigable? They are lacking in comparison. When I looked at the Morrowind namespace when I first got into the series, I wanted to learn more, because the contents of the pages were so navigable and the pages helped to bring the towns closer to life. I was able to look at who ran the places, look at what each place was about, learn about the districts in the town, and even more!

I suppose I have no real purpose to pointing this out, and I suspect the manpower (or desire) to revamp a bunch of pages to fit an antiquated style isn't there, but I just wanted to bring up my bias towards Morrowind and how everything used to work, being one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" guys. The style works in Morrowind, it exists randomly in the Daggerfall namespace, and Arena, I'm too lazy to look at.

Speaking of Daggerfall and the bare namespace, I have half contemplated working at least sporadically on it, though Daggerfall is such a challenging game that it's hit and miss whether or not I could get through the Privateer's Hold.

That can be the question that could be answered in the comments or on Twitter when this thing autoposts to it... Am I just a terrible player who can't do anything competently (which isn't out of the realm of possibility if you've ever seen me game) or is Privateer's Hold just ridiculous to get through for a lot of people?

 PermalinkLeave a comment »

YouTube Gamers

  04:27:00 pm, by Damon   , 953 words  
Viewed 28017 times since 10/07/14
Categories: Games, Misc

I am back with a random blog post that I have created, because... Well, I was bored and this seemed like an interesting opinion article to write, based on my own experiences in the world of YouTube Let's Plays, both as a spectator and former content creator (who might return to the game sometime).

If you watch gamers on YouTube, you'll see that all of them brand themselves as gamers and "Let's Players". Gamers, they are, but I have always seen a specific, distinct separation between different types of gamers. We have, according to my three categories, the true "Let's Player", walkthrough gamers, and entertainers.

Based on gamers I've seen on YouTube and my own personal feelings, I believe the true Let's Player is one who plays the game purely for the joy of doing so, and videos can span episodes or series while including victories, failures, jumpcuts after a "You are Dead!" message that happens every few minutes, and they do the entire playthrough in a light-hearted way, typically coupled with their own giggling at their ineptitude and funny side stories that aren't always helpful to the progression of the game, but serve to keep the mood light when things are tense. The victory for the true Let's Player is not completion of the game, but the (mis)adventures that take place between Part 1 of the series and the last part of the series. The games played by the true Let's Player tend to be whatever the player will find entertaining, not what is necessarily going to garner subscribers, a view count, or so forth.

A good true "Let's Player" to use my opinions, would include YouTubers of the likes of Veriax, SorcererDave, and Miss Lollypop. Veriax and SorcererDave do remarkable thoroughly roleplayed and mostly in-character playthroughs of Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, with the latter doing Fallout games and others as well, so those are good recommendations for TES LPs. Miss Lollypop is a player of The Sims series, with concurrent Let's Plays of The Sims 2, 3, and 4, if that's your thing.

The walkthrough gamers are into gaming for the sake of completion. They only post videos that show a game's mission in a 100% completion scenario. These gamers are down to business when it comes to their gaming, and will redo the same mission off-screen until they have the perfect completion of the game. The walkthrough gamer is its own special type of gamer, and one that takes a particular dedication to the game, because of the effort it takes to get perfect completion on a level of challenging difficulty. These gamers, in my experience -- though not necessarily all of them, tend to play the newest games to completion and then discard them for a new series upon their 100% completion of the main "Core" missions of the game. 

An example of a good walkthrough gamer I like is Centerstrain01. He's into the action games like Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell, Hitman, and so forth, and he focuses on getting only a 100% completion of a given mission with a stealth walkthrough of the game, if a stealthy approach can be taken. 

Then there are the entertainers. These guys have a game on the background to be the background, and in many cases they enjoy playing the game, but the game itself is not what the point of the video is going to be, necessarily. An example of an entertainer is Nerd3, who by his own admission will edit to the comedy of his dialogue, rather than editing to the game footage itself, while scrapping entire videos that he doesn't find "funny" in the commentary department.

These Let's Players are excellent to watch if you want to watch them specifically for their commentary, and if you want to get a quick glimpse of a game, but don't particularly care for the intricacies of the game.

To use the example of Nerd3, he does his videos in 15-25 minute segments at max, with a lot of jumpcuts to string together his brand of comedy, which can be quite entertaining (sort of making up for the disorientation of  excessive jump cuts), and he tends to edit out the in-between content that doesn't directly help his progression of the game or his progression of the things he's saying. While he has at least one "Completes" series at a time going (with the aforementioned jump cuts), most of his videos tend to briefly touch the game and provide an overview, but seldom return to the game. Of course, over 1 million subscribers, which is tenfold or greater what the other people I referenced, show that his videos aren't bad, and numerous other entertainers prove that this is an existing marketplace to work in when it comes to YouTube gamers.

Again, while I am preferential to my definition of a true Let's Player when it comes to YouTube gamers and who I want to watch, all of these above listed YouTubers (Miss Lollypop in particular) are fun, easy to listen to gamers who play games of a wide spectrum and are fun to watch. We could get even deeper into the different types of gamers, but I feel like these are about as broad as I can explain things while keeping a reasonable sized post. And, these subsets can all clearly fall into one or more of these lines given, so they aren't hard to observe, even without the half-decade of watching Let's Plays that I have under my belt... And the few months of Let's Playing before I shut down the shop due to issues at that time in real life.

Anyway, I shall return in the future the next time I have a posting worth wasting 45 minutes on typing. Bye bye!

PAXPrime! Seattle 2014

  10:27:00 pm, by Jeancey   , 696 words  
Viewed 31844 times since 09/17/14
Categories: Elder Scrolls

Hey everybody! Jeancey here! I spent the holiday weekend doing something I'm sure most of you would enjoy, attending a gaming convention, the Penny Arcade Expo! For those of you who don't know, the Penny Arcade Expo, usually abbreviated as PAX, is a yearly gaming convention which started in Seattle. There are other PAX events at different times of the year and in different locations around the world, but PAXPrime is, in my opinion, the best.

The ESO PAX Booth

Full story »

AKB's Auto Korrect Blog: The Empire -- Dead and Buried?

  02:33:00 am, by AKB   , 1398 words  
Viewed 25222 times since 09/16/14
Categories: Elder Scrolls, Analysis

Tamriel

Ahh, the Empire. A truly amazing dominion of semi-independent states headed by the prestigious Septim Dynasty, who followed in the footsteps of the Reman Dynasty and Saint Alessia herself to forge a continent spanning regime. While the capital, the Imperial City is found in the central province of Cyrodiil, The Empire also controls the provinces of Black Marsh, Elsweyr, Hammerfell, High Rock, Morrowind, Skyrim, and the Summerset Isles. Truly, there is no more prestigious and grand nation in existence! And it is almost certainly doomed. Let's examine the troubled existence of the Empire after the break.

Full story »

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

  03:38:00 am, by AKB   , 1617 words  
Viewed 25411 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.

Full story »