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Old 06-20-2009, 11:58 AM  
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Elder Scrolls V

So the guys at Bethesda let it slip a few months ago that Elder Scrolls V was in the works for 2010, and a friend said he read a possible release in 2009... I'm looking for the article, but I'm friggin' STOKED about a new Elder Scrolls game coming out in the next 12-18 months!!!

I think they can learn a lot with the successes and failures of their previous landmark releases like Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout 3 and make ESV an absolute KICK ASS game!
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:18 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by DBOSHO View Post
The last thing i remember about oblivion was getting stuck in a cave trying to get a book from the dark brotherhood or whoever. They were in dark robes. I saved right before i snatched the book and i couldnt remember how to escape.
Following the red arrow didn't help? The game overall is pretty dang easy. It tells you where to go.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:29 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by keg in kc View Post
Looks pretty, but that's no surprise. Oblivion looked pretty too. But I couldn't play it more than a few days until I was bored to death.
I like these games, but I'm something of a completionist. I want to find every weapon, get every perq, max out my stats, and travel to every location. I generally find that more fun that the story itself. And I thought the main story line of Oblivion was definitely the weak link, especially since the game sucked when you had a bunch of NPCs fighting each other. For me completing the side quests was a lot more fun, especially the assassin's guild stuff.

But eventually I just hit a wall and that was it. That point came about halfway through Shivering Isles. On day I just quit and never started again.

Fallout 3 was much better, as was Fallout New Vegas, although I still haven't finished that one, either.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:44 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
Following the red arrow didn't help? The game overall is pretty dang easy. It tells you where to go.
I dont recall seeing an arrow
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:56 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by DBOSHO View Post
I dont recall seeing an arrow
There's always an arrow or line or something on the compass. It directs you where to go to complete whatever is set as your active quest. Perhaps you didn't have an active quest at the time.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:14 PM   #50
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Man, as soon as I get home, I'm watching that video. I hope I don't pass out for 2 hours, though.
The downside is the blackout, the upside is being imbued with the strength of titans, going into a rage and destroying all that is set before you.

I can understand one's disinterest, but I've put about 300 hours into the current generation of Elder Scrolls/Fallout series.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:07 PM   #51
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:57 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by ClayWhit View Post
Gonna get an i5 and GTX470 just for these sweet orgasm.
You should just get a Mac.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:38 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by frazod View Post
I like these games, but I'm something of a completionist. I want to find every weapon, get every perq, max out my stats, and travel to every location. I generally find that more fun that the story itself. And I thought the main story line of Oblivion was definitely the weak link, especially since the game sucked when you had a bunch of NPCs fighting each other. For me completing the side quests was a lot more fun, especially the assassin's guild stuff.

But eventually I just hit a wall and that was it. That point came about halfway through Shivering Isles. On day I just quit and never started again.

Fallout 3 was much better, as was Fallout New Vegas, although I still haven't finished that one, either.
I'm exactly the same way, although I do love story on top of my completionist OCD.

I can't tell you how many hours I spent in Morrowind/Tribunal/Bloodmoon. Hundreds I'm sure.

Oblivion just...didn't have the same appeal to me. It looked better but it felt emptier, if that makes any sense. I played for a while and then just stopped.

I played Fallout 3 more, all the way to the end of the game (I think), but I never finished that one either. Never got new Vegas. I know it's better than FO3, but I think I'm done with Bethesda, for a while at least. I'll try Oblivion sometime after I finish Dragon Age 2 (hell, The Witcher 2 is out in May, this is the year for games it looks like...), see if I like it any more now than I did in '06 and '07, and then figure out if I want to play Skyrim or not.

Knowing me I'll end up getting it. 'cause I'm weak.

Although The Old Republic may be out by then, and that will probably kill the rest of my gaming for a while.

(And there's Mass Effect 3 sometime around Christmas. Christ.)
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:43 AM   #54
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No Old Republic for me - I don't do MMOs. For the rest - can't wait. Really, really looking forward to Witcher 2.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:48 AM   #55
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No Old Republic for me - I don't do MMOs. For the rest - can't wait. Really, really looking forward to Witcher 2.
That's not a bad decision. They really are life killers.

Although here's a quote I just read from a developer blog released today, with some comments from TOR beta testers:
Quote:
“This is the Jedi game to end all Jedi games. If you're a gamer and you don't throw your hands up in triumph when you get your first lightsaber, you're not really alive. This game is, bar none, the best interactive Star Wars experience ever.” – VI
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:50 AM   #56
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****, you just had to post that, didn't you?
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:54 AM   #57
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I'm more machine now than man, twisted and evil.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:00 AM   #58
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Menu system overhauled

http://www.gameinformer.com/games/th...-overhaul.aspx

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In a game as large as the open world RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, comprehensive menus are a necessary evil. Though they may not be pretty, players need a way to easily manage items, review skills, and map out directions to their next dungeon crawls. The menus in Oblivion functioned, but they were essentially a cumbersome medieval equivalent to Excel documents. For the sequel, Bethesda is striving for a friendlier user interface.

Rather than refine the pre-existing menu system from Oblivion or Fallout 3, Bethesda decided to toss them on the scrap heap and develop a new, streamlined interface. Searching for inspiration, the team kept coming back to Apple, and for good reason. Over the last decade the company has revolutionized how consumers interact with software and hardware moreso than any other tech outfit.

”You know in iTunes when you look at all your music you get to flip through it and look at the covers and it becomes tangible?” game director Todd Howard asks. “One of our goals was 'What if Apple made a fantasy game? How would this look?' It's very good at getting through lots of data quickly, which is always a struggle with our stuff.”

Like in Oblivion, pressing the B or circle button opens up the menu system. Instead of returning you to the last page you visited as it did in Oblivion, Bethesda now presents you with a simple compass interface that offers four options.

Pressing right takes you to the inventory. The interface is a clean cascading menu system that separates items by type. Here players can browse through weapons, armor, and other items they gather during their travel. Instead of relegating players to looking at an item’s name and stat attributes, each possession is a tangible three dimensional item with its own unique qualities. Thousands of items are fully rendered, and players can zoom in on or rotate each one. You can even get an up close view of the flowers and roots you pick for alchemy. “It becomes an interesting time sink,” Howard says. “You can look at and explore every single thing you pick up.”

Pressing left from the compass gives players access to the full list of magical items, complete with breakdowns of how the spells operate. As we mentioned in the Building Better Combat story, the world of Skyrim features over 85 spells, many of which can be used in a variety of ways.

In Oblivion, players could map eight items from their inventory onto the D-pad for easy access. Given the new two-handed approach to combat in Skyrim, Bethesda didn’t want to limit players to eight items. Instead, pressing up on the D-pad pauses the action and pulls up a favorites menu. Anything from your spell library or item inventory can be “bookmarked” to the favorites menu with the press of a button. How many items appear on that menu is up to each player. Bethesda isn’t placing a cap on the number of favorite items, so theoretically you could muck it up with every single item you own. Though you can choose how many items appear, you can’t determine the order; items and spells are listed alphabetically.

Pressing down in the compass menu pulls the camera perspective backward to reveal a huge topographical map of Skyrim. Here players can zoom around to explore the mountain peaks, valley streams, and snowy tundras that populate the northern lands. Pulling the camera as far away as possible gives you a great respect for the size of the game world. From the map view players can manage quest icons, plan their travel route, or access fast travel.

Finally, pressing up in the compass menu turns your gaze up toward the heavens. In previous games, astrology played a large role in character creation. Though Skyrim abandons the class structure in favor of a "you are what you play" philosophy, Bethesda is preserving the player’s ties to star signs.

Three prominent nebulae dominate the Skyrim heavens – the thief, the warrior, and the mage. Each of these represents one of the three master skill sets. Each nebula houses six constellations, each of which represents a skill. As in Oblivion, every player starts out with the ability to use all 18 skills – any player can use a two-handed weapon, try alchemy, or cast a destruction spell (provided you find or purchase one). As you use these skills in Skyrim, they will level up and contribute to driving your character's overall level higher.

Every time players rank up their overall level, they can choose a supplemental perk ability for one of the 18 skills. For instance, if you fight most of your battles with a mace, you may want to choose the perk that allows you to ignore armor while using the weapon. As in Fallout 3, several of the perks have their own leveling system as well, allowing you to choose them multiple times. Once you choose a perk, it lights up the corresponding star in the constellation, making it visible when looking up to the heavens while interacting in the world.

“When you glance to the sky after you’ve played the game for a while, what you’re seeing in the sky is different than what somebody else is seeing based on the constellations,” Howard says.

To read more about all of the great details we extracted from Bethesda during our cover trip, visit the Skyrim hub by clicking below.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:02 AM   #59
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Combat evolved

http://www.gameinformer.com/games/th...er-combat.aspx

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In game development, the visual improvements, non-player character AI tweaks, and new storytelling philosophies are all for naught if the base activity the player performs the most frequently is uninteresting or unrefined. In the case of an action role-playing game like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, those activities are swinging swords, shooting arrows, or casting spells at the myriad bloodthirsty enemies rushing toward you in foreboding dungeons of Tamriel. Aware of the combat shortcomings and exploits players used in Oblivion, the developers at Bethesda Studios went back to the drawing board to forge a new direction for Skyrim.

“We wanted to make it more tactile in your hands,” game director Todd Howard says. “I think if you look at our previous stuff I sometimes equate it to fighting with chopsticks – you sit there and swing them in front of yourself.”

Bethesda’s solution is a new two-handed combat system that allows players to equip any weapon or spell to either one of their character’s free hands. This flexible platform opens up countless play styles – dual wielding, two-handed weapons, the classic sword and shield combo, ranged weapons, or even equipping two different spells. Switching between loadouts on the fly is made easier thanks to a new quick-select menu that allows you to “bookmark” all of your favorite spells, shouts, and weapons for easy access.

Taking Up The Blade

Repetition can be a game developer's worst enemy. As players move through the world slashing at enemies thousands of times, the gravity of the action dissipates to the point where it becomes as thoughtless an exercise as flipping a light switch. With Skyrim's combat system, Bethesda wants to restore the visceral nature of hand-to-hand combat. The first step? Changing the pace of the close quarters battles.

In the early stages of development, Bethesda watched fighting videos to study how people react during melee battles. The team found that most encounters featured more jostling and staggering than was present in past Elder Scrolls titles. Using the Havok Behavior animation system, the team is more accurately mimicking the imbalance prevalent in melee combat by adding staggering affects and camera shake. Don't expect button-mashing marathons where the attacker with a bigger life pool wins the war of attrition. If you're not careful on defense you may get knocked around, losing your balance and leaving yourself exposed for a damaging blow that can turn the tide of the battle. Knowing when to block, when to strike, and when to stand your ground is key to prevailing in combat.

“There's a brutality to [the combat] both in the flavor of the world, and one of you is going to die,” Howard explains. “I think you get very used the idea that enemies are all there for you to mow through, but it doesn't seem like someone's life is going to end. We're trying to get that across.”

Nothing drives this brutality home more than the introduction of special kill animations. Depending on your weapon, the enemy, and the fight conditions, your hero may execute a devastating finishing move that extinguishes enemies with a stylistic flourish. “You end up doing it a lot in the game, and there has to be an energy and a joy to it,” Howard says.

As with Oblivion, players have several options for melee combat. Your warrior can equip swords, shields, maces, axes, or two-handed weapons. Specializing in a particular weapon is the best way to go, as it gives you the opportunity to improve your attacking skills with special perks. For instance, the sword perk increases your chances of landing a critical strike, the axe perk punishes enemies with residual bleeding damage after each blow, and the mace perk ignores armor on your enemies to land more powerful strikes.

A good offense must be accompanied by a good defense. To make defending a less passive activity, Bethesda has switched to a timing based blocking system that requires players to actively raise their shields to take the brunt of the attack. If you hold down the block button, your character will attempt to execute a bash move. If you catch a bandit off guard with the bash while he's attacking, it knocks him back and exposes him to a counter or power attack. Players can block and bash with two-handed weapons as well, but it isn't as effective as the shield. Warriors who prefer the sword-and-shield approach can increase their defensive capabilities with shield perks that give them elemental protection from spells.

Bethesda also smartly changed the pace at which characters backpedal, which removes the strike-and-flee tactic frequently employed in Oblivion. In Skyrim you can't bob and weave like a medieval Muhammad Ali as you could in Oblivion. Players can still dodge attacks from slower enemies like frost trolls, but don’t expect to backpedal out of harms way against charging enemies. If you want to flee, you must turn your back to the enemy and hit the sprint button, leaving you exposed to an attack as you high tail it to safety.



Conjuring Better Spell Casting

Keeping in line with the philosophy of making the combat more tactile, Bethesda took inspiration for its spell casting from an unlikely source in Irrational Games' BioShock. Fighting his way through the city of Rapture, Howard was impressed with how Ken Levine's team visualized the power of the plasmids in your hands. They're adopting a similar approach for Skyrim.

“Before when we had magic, it never felt to us like you were actually doing it,” Howard admits. “It was a separate button, it flew out of your fist, and you could have a shield in your hand or a two handed-weapon – you could do it with anything.”

In Oblivion spells were cast with a face button, which allowed you to equip traditional weapons for melee combat and deftly cast spells between swings. By forcing players to equip a spell with one of their hands, players must make more of a commitment to learning the arcane arts. The ability to equip two different spells on your left and right hand raises the question – can you combine more than one spell? “We're not talking about that,” Howard says with a smile. “We're not sure. We'd like to; it'd be awesome.”

Even if you can't combine spells, magicka students will have no shortage of options, with over 85 spells divided into five schools of magic – destruction, restoration, illusion, alteration, and conjuration. Longtime Elder Scrolls fans may notice that the school of mysticism is absent. That's an intentional move on Bethesda's part. “It always felt like the magical school of mysticism – isn't that redundant?” Howard says. The spells formerly housed under the domain of mysticism have been moved to other schools of magic.

One of the more alluring changes to the spellcasting in Skyrim is how you can employ spells in different ways. For instance, you could blast enemies with a flame ball from afar, hold the button down to wield the spell like a flame thrower, place a rune on the ground to create an environmental trap that spontaneously combusts when an enemy steps on it, or equip the spell with both hands to deliver high damage fireball attacks that drain your magicka reserves quickly. The shock and frost spells give players an equal amount of flexibility.

The Havok Behavior technology gives the spells more visual flair than we've seen in past Elder Scrolls games as well. If you cast a frost spell, you'll see the effects on the enemy's skin. If you're wielding the flame spell like a flame thrower, the environment will catch fire for a short while and burn anything that comes into contact with it.

More so than in Oblivion, Skyrim’s new magic system also gives players legitimate benefits to using one attacking spell over the other. Fire deals the highest amount of damage, lighting drains the enemy’s magicka, and frost drains stamina and slows down enemies physically. This gives players more incentive to use particular spells against specific enemies. Why shoot fireballs at a wizard when you can simultaneously drain his heath and magicka with a shock spell? “There’s a gaminess to it that we didn’t really have before,” Howard says.

If you come face to face with another wizard, you’ll want to keep an attacking spell in one hand and improve your defense by equipping a ward spell in the other. Suddenly, magic duels become much more interesting, as you must attack at the opportune time, use the ward as a shield when your opponent is casting spells your way, and manage your magicka level by consuming potions.



Dealing Damage From The Shadows

Magicians and warriors aren’t the only play styles enjoying the benefit of combat enhancements. If you prefer to do your killing from afar with a bow and arrow or assassinating enemies from the shadows, Bethesda has some improvements in store for you as well.

Ranged weapons could be effective in Oblivion once you improved your skill level, but you had to pierce enemies with several arrows to take them down. After playing an Oblivion mod that turned the bow and arrow into a formidable weapon capable of one-hit kills, Bethesda decided to adopt that approach. It now takes a lot longer to get off a shot, but the arrows are much more powerful than before.

As in Oblivion, you can zoom to aim, and the longer you keep the bow drawn the more powerful your shot will be. Unlike Oblivion, the arrows now violently impact enemies with a satisfying thud. To keep players from coasting through the world plucking enemies from afar, Bethesda has significantly altered the arrow economy to make them a valuable but limited option. You won't be rolling into combat stacked with 50 Daedric arrows anymore. Though you don't have much defense when using the bow and arrow, if an enemy gets too close for comfort you can still execute a bash move, which knocks your foe off balance and gives you time to create distance between you and your target.

Stealth basically works the same as it did in Oblivion, but Bethesda has slightly altered what happens once enemies detect your presence. Now when NPCs think they see or heard something, they go into an alert state. Characters with a higher sneak skill will have more time to duck back around the corner or find sanctuary in the shadows. This new system eliminates the sudden attacks that sometimes caught players off guard in Oblivion.

Once you successfully sneak up behind an unsuspecting victim, you can unleash a deadly blow with the dagger, an almost useless weapon in previous Elder Scrolls games that is receiving a major boost in Skyrim. “Now when you sneak up behind guys, the dagger does something like 10x damage,” Howard says. “I don’t know if we’re going to keep that, but you feel like you should be killing the guy if you’ve gotten that close and you have a dagger.”

Though the dagger is still considered a one-handed weapon skill, the perks for the weapon are housed under the stealth banner.

The Dragonborn Prophecy Fulfilled

As the Dragonborn, players can wield the dangerous dragon shouts during battle as well. The shouts may have magical properties, like the ability to slow time or call a dragon to your aid, but they are different than magic in that every character can employ them regardless of their spell casting skills. If you want to learn more about this supplemental power, read our in-depth discussion here.

Binding all of these improvement together into a cohesive system, Bethesda's reinvigorated Elder Scrolls combat looks to be taking a large step forward.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:04 AM   #60
keg in kc keg in kc is offline
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Not as interesting as the menu or combat rework, but they relaunched their website, too, elderscrolls.com. Looks so much better than it did for either Morrowind or Oblivion.
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