Blog Update

  06:03:00 pm, by Daveh   , 175 words  
Viewed 6019 times since 01/30/14
Categories: News

As you may have noticed the blog has been given a minor, and long overdue, update:

  • Upgraded b2evolution from 2.x to 5.x
  • Minor changes to the default skin to make it match the UESP theme
  • Some setting tweaks

One thing I must say is that despite jumping 3 major versions of the blog software the update was the easiest and most straightfoward process of anything web-related application I've done...hats off of the b2evolution development team. Editing the skin was similarly trivial. I usually loathe upgrades as it seems even trivial ones can break terribly and leave you hunting forums in the depths of the web for the one person who experienced the same error as you. MediaWiki in particular is bad with upgrades turning something which should take no more than 30 minutes into a week long adventure.

Everything appears to be working but it anything is broken or there's more apps/widgets that should be installed let me know. The skin can be similarly commented on (I can give access to edit if anyone is particularly interested).

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Runnin' low on ammo here, sir!

  11:54:51 am, by Damon   , 788 words  
Viewed 3237 times since 01/28/14
Categories: Welcome

So, a while ago, I posted why I felt like the story to Fallout 3 disappointed me. I know what the plot is, or at least have a really good idea where it's going (actually, I may have looked up online how it ended), and while the story as a whole was good, it felt too rigid in terms of roleplaying, despite Bethesda's excellent skill at making games appear open and roleplayable (indeed, most games they make are roleplayable in more ways than just one.

However, for the sake of the story, I decided I wanted to play the game with a fresh character and completely finish the story, just to give the game a fair shot over New Vegas, which I feel was a better game (and one I've actually completed... Many times). Here's a brief little observation I've noted:

Is it just me, or are caps and bullets in shorter supply in Fallout 3? It could just be me being a bad player with less time in F3, meaning I lack knowledge of where everything is at, unlike in F:NV.

Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, I mean. I feel it adds to the wasteland experience and the feel like you are trying to survive a post-apocalypse when you're short on money often, and you have to make every shot count.

Of course, on the other hand, the Las Vegas area was largely spared from nuclear armageddon, by House's anti-air defences, so the cities are still (somewhat) in-tact, and there is a feel of civilisation still (and gambling chips, NCR paper, and Legion coins as extra currency make it money in better supply, miserable exchange rates aside), and with that better hold on civilisation, there are additional services in the area like well stocked gun sellers, meaning that it makes sense that there can be everything in better supply, though it's still slightly less fun than having an ammo shortage.

There we go... I prefer Fallout: New Vegas over Fallout 3 generally, but this struggle to have money to meet your basic living needs in Fallout 3 does add to the feel of having to survive, which is more entertaining for me.

And, I have something else that's been bugging me. I saw on the Bethesda fora, specifically within the Fallout section (Duh, it's Fallout related), that numerous people complain that despite two hundred years of surviving the apocalypse, nobody had fixed up the buildings to appear as they would pre-war, opting to live in shanty towns on crappy roads...

I just want to point out that given that there were presumably at least two to three generations of people focusing purely on adapting and surviving the wastes, the art of paving roads with a machine probably fell off the radar, and when the people of Fallout 3 came along, they didn't know how to use the rusted, 200 year old pieces of machinery, nor were they necessarily functional.

For me, it makes perfect sense that less important things like roads would become less important when there are few cars (I say few, because I know that in Fallout: Tactics the Brotherhood of Steel shows they possess the know-how to rebuild and operate vehicles - presumably other people in other regions can too, though I don't know if that is demonstrated within any games), who have to use them, and the main focus is staying within your safe area and community to feed yourself and make a safe, permanent structure. Not to mention there's no guarantee the asphalt place even works, nor would the average joe know how to make it.

It's Survival 101, really. You don't exert unnecessarily calories and energy on a task that will not offer enough reward to make up for the energy output. While many appear to disagree with me and want to see a settlement completely perfect after 200+ years, judging from the forum responses to these various threads, I feel like there ought not be a solid settlement so soon, unless there were a particularly remarkable community somewhere, who happened to survive apocalypse, keep knowledge of pre-war technology, and were able to operate spared machinery that was saved and maintained... Meaning it's pretty much just the Brotherhood of Steel who could do it, though they've certainly got better things to do than help the common person... Selfish bastards.

Anyway, that's my random set of thoughts on Fallout.

And, here's some random fun facts: Using the Blog Archive button to look at old posts, I noticed that 2013 was the most prolific year for bloggers, with most of the year being posted during, save for May and June, and this month, January 2014, has more individual posts than the past months. Hooray for random facts!

I'm going now.

Sports! Yeah! You'll be good at them!

  06:18:33 pm, by Jeancey   , 327 words  
Viewed 5030 times since 01/19/14
Categories: Welcome

After watching the first of my two teams win the football game (GO BRONCOS!), I realized something. There are no sports in the world of the Elder Scrolls. Many games have some sort of fake sport that people talk about, but not in the Elder Scrolls series at all. I guess you could argue that the Arena in Oblivion was a type of sport, but I'm not sure that it qualifies.

I propose that for the next Elder Scrolls game, a sport be added. Not a real life, actual sport that people play, but a fake sport specifically designed for the Elder Scrolls series. Since it is my personal belief that the Summerset Isles are going to be the setting of the next single player game, I'm going to focus on the Altmer. I've always thought that the perfect sport for the Altmer would be golf. It is usually a quiet sport, it involved hills and greenery, which are abundant in the Summerset Isles, and the players are usually quite tall. However, this wouldn't be golf as we know it today. I picture the ball being much, much bigger, say the size of a basketball. The club, then, would also be much bigger. And near the hole, you would have your opponent (this being a sport where it is you against a single other player, in a match of sorts) who would be blindfolded with a bat of sorts. They have to try and swing and hit the ball away from the hole. However, they are not allowed closer than 5 yards to the hole, and are not allowed more than 15 yards away from the hole. I think this would be the perfect sport for the Elder Scrolls series.

Since I have another football game to watch, I'll ask this: What sport do you think they should play in the Elder Scrolls? Make one up, or use an existing sport, it is up to you!!


Insert Creative Name Here

  02:20:38 am, by Damon   , 485 words  
Viewed 3361 times since 01/19/14
Categories: Welcome, Games, Elder Scrolls

There's totally a nonverbal conspiracy where we all post updates together or within a few days of each other! Haha... Nah, not at all.

There has been a lot of controversy regarding Master Neloth's reference to Indoril Nerevar's reincarnation being referred to as a "he". Even over a year later users are still complaining on UESP, on the various fora with a TES section (ours, BethSoft's, etc) that it was a bug or an oversight that Neloth assigned a gender to the Nerevarine, and it's gotten to where there have been many edits attempting to call it an error on UESP.

I certainly understand (and want to agree with the fans) the fans' frustrations at a definitive gender being assigned to the character, depriving the player the possibility of having a female character be Nerevarine. After all, there have been plenty of heroine's in the TES saga and in other sagas, and most of my own characters as of late have been female. There's just something so satisfying about the fairer sex rising up to become a grand saviour of the free world, I suppose.

However, we have to look at it this way: Regardless of whether or not the users agree, it's UESP's job to document the Elder Scrolls series as-is. It's not our place to pick and choose what's lore or not. Maybe it was an oversight, maybe it was deliberate. The point is, until Bethesda confirms the Nerevarine is male (which can make sense, seeing how Indoril Nerevar was a male), or until they confirm it's an oversight, we have official in-game content stating he's a male, and that's lore in my book. Look at the main character of Arena, for example. The in-game manuals, plus some out-of-game sources cite the character as being named "Talin". There is precedent to Bethesda suggesting certain qualities of a character are set, regardless of the playability of that game.

From the lore side of things, it also makes sense that a gender would be defined. After all, the authors of Tamriel are rather efficient and up-to-date about the happenings of their world, and in my own opinion, there has to be something definite about the characters, since it wouldn't make sense that such meaningful and important events are mysteriously glossed over when the game is so concise in any other way. In that aspect, there are some aspects and arguments that could be used to make it a necessity that there be some definition of who a character is, regardless of game mechanics.

It's a tough argument and controversy many Morrowind players are facing with Dragonborn, and we can argue in circles on both sides of the coin, but it's really all for naught. Whether we like or dislike, it's not our place to say, it's Bethesda's. And, until they confirm one way or the other, we have to accept it for what it is.

The Beauty of Morrowind

  06:40:55 pm, by Jeancey   , 772 words  
Viewed 3219 times since 01/18/14
Categories: Games, Elder Scrolls, UESP

Morrowind, by far, has always been my favourite of the Elder Scrolls games. Many people complained about its combat system or about the graphics, but I don't think they truly grasped the beauty of the game. In the early 2000s, game maps were essentially funnels; you had to go here through this specific path, with occasional offshoots and secret areas for you to find. As is often the case, if you saw something in the distance, you couldn't get there directly. You had to go through some elaborate path in order to get there. Often these barriers were logical, as long as you didn't think too hard about them. Neverwinter Nights, for instance, you were often blocked by cliffs and mountains, and masses of trees. If you think too hard about this, however, you realize that all of the open areas are nearly perfect squares, and you realize how unnatural that is.

Morrowind was different. You were open, and free, and allowed to go anywhere you could see. There was never anything on the horizon that, once you got closer, you realized you couldn't actually reach. In some ways, it was even better at this than Oblivion or Skyrim because it was set on an island, Vvardenfell. There are places in Oblivion that you could see, but you couldn't actually reach due to the barriers involved, as was the case in Skyrim, but in Morrowind, the entire world was at your fingertips.

Morrowind also felt so much larger to me than Oblivion and Skyrim. I'm sure if you look at the actual area involved in the game, Oblivion and Skyrim will both be bigger, but the impression one got from playing the game just wasn't the same. Morrowind felt huge, massive even. After hundreds of hours of playing, if you started a new game, you could still find places that you have never been to before. A large part of this, I think, is due to the map and travel systems. In the later games, every location, once discovered, will appear on the map. Even before they appear they can be seen on the compass so that you know when there are locations nearby. Once you found those locations, you could essentially teleport between locations at will. Morrowind didn't have any of this. Sure you had a map with locations marked on it, but only the most major locations or the largest dungeons were displayed. If you zoomed in on your immediate area, you could see markers for the entrance to a location that you had been to before, but not ones you had never seen. There was no compass pointing you to the entrance, or a easy way to move between dungeons, you had to physically run there. This, more than anything, is what made Morrowind feel so large. The world just doesn't feel big when you can go from Bruma to Leyawiin at the click of a button. Even the travel options in Morrowind, silt striders, boats, guild guides and the stronghold teleportation system provided easy and logical limitations on your movement. You can't simply take the boat from Khuul and appear at Tel Mora, you had to boat hop from place to place, getting yourself closer to your destination, just as you can't take a plane from Seattle and fly directly to Moscow; you have to stop a few times along the way.

More than that, though, the world itself felt more alive. You didn't go into a dungeon and kill some generic bandits who would respawn when you returned 10-30 days later. You killed real people, with names and uniqueness. When you went back to that dungeon ten, fifteen or even one-hundred days later, those people were still dead, and no one had taken their place. You could make a real impact on the world. You weren't limited in any way on what you could do, within reason or logic of course. If you wanted to kill Caius Cosades, the main quest giver for the main quest, you could. He wouldn't just be brought to his knees, only to get back up a few seconds later. He would be dead. Of course you have now ruined your game, but you were allowed to.

In all, Morrowind felt like the biggest, fullest, and most alive world that Bethesda has ever created, and better than any other game I have played to date. It might not have had the best combat systems or graphics, but who needs those in a role-playing game? All you need is a character, and the ability to affect any change you want upon the world.