Posts Tagged ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’

Morrowind Overhaul OpenMW Gets New Graphics Engine

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind [official site] was released in 2002. It’s testament to how highly regarded the now 13-year-old game is that folks are still determined to keep it alive. OpenMW is one such effort: an open source “engine re-implementation” of Morrowind. It’s still some ways from being finished, but the released build has just received an extensive update.

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What Makes A Videogame House A Videogame Home?

Oh boy, am I conflicted. Fallout 4’s main plotline requires that I do this thing and as far as things go, it’s a pretty major thing and a major thing that you’d expect someone with the maternal instinct of my character Halle to crack on with straight away. The trouble is, rather than doing this major thing, for at least an hour now, she, and when I say ‘she’, I mean ‘I’, have been poking around Sanctuary, scrapping anything that glows yellow so I can salvage enough materials to build a house big enough for me and my Minutemen companions. I had largely avoided Bethesda’s drip-feed of Fallout 4 pre-publicity but when I somehow found out that the game had settlement building, I think I might have involuntarily passed a little wind in joyous anticipation.

That’s because I’ve felt a similar rosy inner glow while hanging around other hubs and houses in many other games I’ve played. I think it’s easy to underestimate the value of having a ‘home’ base option, especially in open world games where there is a free-roaming element, but it’s a part of why I love certain games.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Pants On Parade

Since the dawn of RPGs, two things have remained constant: heroes require armour, and players will always want to find out what happens if they strip it all off and run around. Some would call it a secret test of a game’s devotion to world simulation – that if characters react, it says good things about the developers’ devotion to detail. Others just think it’s really funny. (To be clear, it’s very rarely even close to sexy.)

This week then, a random sample will answer the question the world has been waiting to realise it should have asked – objectively speaking, which RPG is the best? Specifically, if they all forgot their PE kits and had to go quest in their pants.

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The RPS Verdict: Fallout 4

Alec’s already run his own review of Fallout 4 [official site], based on 50 predominantly campaign-inclined hours in post-nuclear New England, but now Bethesda’s latest is out John and Adam have been taking a more leisurely look at it too. Have they found convincing life in the wasteland? Do they agree that writing and characterisation is much improved? Or that the relentless focus on combat keeps it just short of rad status? Is the Witcher 3 still 2015’s RPG king after this? And why do they think a game which is prompting rather a lot of griping about bugs and graphics and meatheadedness has scored so many 9s and 10s from other critics? Time to set the post-world to rights…

There are no plot spoilers below, bar a passing reference to what happens in the introductory 15 minutes.

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RPS Discusses: Do Expansion Packs Still Matter?

Expansion packs were once a core part of playing PC games, but they can often feel less essential in a world of constant updates and microtransactions. Original game Alec, expansions Adam and Graham, and brief DLC Alice gathered to discuss their favourite game expansions and why they still think the model works.

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Lost Magic Of Magic

Given a choice, I almost always play as a mage. Swords? Pah. Divine magic? Save it for Sunday School. Give me control over the elements, the power to reshape the very building blocks of the universe according to my every whim, and if at all possible, a cool hat. It’s an easy fantasy to indulge in almost any RPG out there.

I just wish it was a more satisfying one.

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Post-Post-Apocalypse: Fallout 4 DLC & Modding Details

You shouldn’t really eye up the dessert menu before your main course has arrived, but sometimes the need to know that profiteroles are definitely available gets the better of one. And so it is that ears are already pricking about Fallout 4 [official site]’s post-launch stuff things, including word of downloadable content and a vague window for its mod support.

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Super Useful Skyrim Script Extender Now On Steam

This was the most safe for work image in the first two pages of a google image search for Skyrim Mods.

Skyrim Script Extender [official site], or SKSE to its sexy friends, is one of the most useful tools for making Skyrim do all the things you want it to with all those mods you use. Yes, even those ones you keep in the folder marked My Faxes, on the other drive. It’s now available on Steam as a free addon that will install to your Skyrim folder and, according to the description, automatically run whenever you load up the game.

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Skyblivion! Gawp At The Skyrim Remake Of Oblivion

SKYBLIVION!

Skyblivion! Graham contends that Skywind has the best name of old Elder Scrolls games being remade in Skyrim, but the Oblivion remake feels more fun on the tongue to me. Skyblivion! Remaking a land that took a whole professional studio to build the first time around is no mean feat, but the modders behind Skywind and Skyblivion [official site] are still working away.

Recent videos show many, many minutes of progress on Skyblivion, trotting around the province of Cyrodiil, leaping into Oblivion gates, and pottering about the Shivering Isles. It looks a lot like Oblivion but in Skyrim, which is sort of the goal of the whole thing. Skyblivion!

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The 50 Best RPG On PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC RPGs ever released. Covering the entire history of computer role-playing games is a daunting task and attempting to place the best games in such a broad genre in any kind of order is even more daunting. Thankfully, we are equal to all tasks and below, you will find the best fifty PC RPGs of all time.

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Journeys In Games: Let’s Talk About Fast Travel

I first noticed the feeling when I stopped at an inn. They had a roaring fire, plenty of food and wine, and there was a dog lying at my feet. Skyrim had never felt more welcoming. I was replaying the game with some mods installed. One mod took away all the dragonborn stuff and left me starting as a simple bandit schmuck. Another mod made the world of Skyrim cold and harsh to survive in, so I had to light fires to keep myself warm and make sure I didn’t fall into any water lest I catch my literal hypothermic death. But one of these mods had a side option, which was to turn fast travel off. On a whim, I did. It was only days later, in the warm glow of this inn that the feeling began to come over me. And I realised something. Something that all my gaming life I’d never even thought about.

I HATE fast travel. Let me tell you why.

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Picboy: Here’s A Fallout 4 Annotated Gallery For You

There was a trailer for a new videogame today. The internet seemed quite taken with it. We don’t actually know much about Fallout 4 at this stage, but I went through the trailer scene by scene to see what confirmations and implications I could glean from it. 40-odd screengrabs below, with annotation wibble for each. Click on any one of them for a 1080p version and gallery thinger (though bear in mind they’re grabs from a trailer so aren’t exactly After Eight-crisp.)

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Star Wars: Restitution Commando

that's what YouTube looked like back then

My 17,000 word feature on the 50 best PC first-person-shooters is 100% objectively correct, with once exception – due to a multiversal non-causal timeslip event, the existence of Star Wars: Republic Commando was removed from all reality for just a moment. Unfortunately, that moment just happened to be the moment that I otherwise would have noted it down for inclusion in the list. Imagine my horror when the multiverse reverted to normality and my memories of the last great Star Wars shooter came flooding back. I tried to make belated amends by noting in the feature’s postscript that RepCom was officially placed at position 17.5, but I felt further restitution was necessary. I’m very lucky: an opportunity has presented itself.
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Nexus Mods On Paid Mods: “This would have caused a rift in Skyrim modding no matter how it was done.”

Robin Scott started building websites to support the modding community in 2001 when he was 14-years-old. In 2007, he started a company to support his site, TES Nexus, as it became the main source for distributing Oblivion mods, and today Nexus Mods hosts “115,674 files for 173 games” and has almost 9 million registered users. If anyone knows what the modding community cares about, and exactly what mods can do for the good of games and gamers, it’s him.

In the wake of Steam’s inclusion of paid-for mods, and just a few hours before their eventual removal, I spoke to Scott about whether creators should be able to charge for mods, how he would have done things differently, and what any of this means for the future of the Nexus. Even in the wake of Valve pulling the system down (for presumed later return), his thoughts are an interesting look at the issues at hand

RPS: Firstly, what do you feel about paid mods in theory? Ignoring their current implementation, do you think there’s a way to do it that good for both developers, mod creators and mod players? Are mods something which should be free on principle?

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Valve Drop Steam Paid Mods For Now

Valve are known for their odd experiments, from Team Fortress 2 hats to – heck! – Steam itself, but they tend to roll with them no matter what the reception, polishing these oddities up with force of will and years of refinement. Their plan to support selling mods through Steam, however, has gone back to the drawing board.

They launched a pilot scheme last week with Skyrim, and had planned to start letting other devs enable paid mods for their own games if they wished. Instead, they’ve removed paid mods from Skyrim, refunded everyone who bought mods, and confessed that “it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing.”

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Steam Charging For Mods: For And Against

Would you pay 33p for this?

It used to be that the only way to make money from a mod was a) make a standalone sequel or remake b) use it as a portfolio to get hired by a studio or c) back in the pre-broadband days, shovel it onto a dodgy CD-ROM (and even then, it almost certainly wasn’t the devs who profited). As of last night, that changed. Mod-makers can now charge for their work, via Steam.

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GTA Ousts Skyrim As Steam’s Most Played 3rd Party Game

but which mountains are best?

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. I celebrated if one of the bands I like got a single in the top 10; I took it very personally if they failed to. Because enough of my peers had also not loved whichever band of posturing men-with-guitars it was, society was in ruins. Is that, perhaps, how some Skyrim fans feel at news their beloved RPG has been toppled by GTA V as the game with most concurrent users ever on Steam, if you exclude Valve’s own games? And are GTA fans celebrating that their prized cars’n’murder game has claimed another scalp?
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The RPG Scrollbars: Spiders In The Dark

Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope!

Something has been giving me trouble ever since I started playing RPGs back in the 1980s. You can probably guess what. I mean, it’s in the title. I’ve talked before about what a blighted pox arachnophobia is for a gamer, but no genre is more guaranteed to trigger it more gratuitously or more callously. Hell, how many RPGs have started by having us face off against a giant spider in a tutorial cave, as if that’s not at least ten times more horrible than the dragon waiting at the end of the campaign? Just off the top of my head, Arx Fatalis, Lands of Lore 3, Vindictus, Skyrim.

Brrr. It’s almost enough to justify letting these fantasy worlds burn.

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Skywind 0.9.6 Video Shows New Details And Weapons

Bethesda have a press conference planned for this year’s E3 – their first ever – which means it’s likely they’ve got more to talk about than merely some new DLC for The Evil Within or a new trailer for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. What will it be: Fallout 4? Elder Scrolls 6? Wet 2? I hope it’s Wet 2.

And not solely because I don’t want all the hard work of the Skywind mod team to go to waste. Come see their latest trailer, which shows some of the most recent modelling and environment work that’s happened in their efforts to port Morrowind to the same engine as Skyrim.

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Skywind Continues To Move Morrowind Into Skyrim

Ah, Morrowind‘s Sheogorad region, famed for its mushroom trees, its frigid waters, its, uh, rocks of Dela’thur and the brutish, erm, winds of Velopis. And elves. I bet it’s got elves in.

Look, so, Morrowind is one of those games I never really played. RPGs are my blind spot, especially anything pre-2005, so my posting this has nothing to do with residual affection for Bethesda’s weirdest world. Instead, it’s because a remake of it might prompt me to go back to it, and because whenever I post a video of Morrowind-in-the-Skyrim-engine mod Skywind, you all make such lovely cooing noises about the old game. So watch, coo, and stoke the fires of my, er, uh… Karapór?

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