Posted tagged ‘Morrowind’

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

January 11, 2011

tesc_skyrim

Not pictured: other places.

There has been very little information released about the new Elder Scrolls game, but what has been announced is pretty exciting. First of all there appears to be a new engine, and supposedly the faces and conversations have been greatly improved. That was one of the worst parts of the Oblivion engine, and I’m glad they finally got something new. Along with this new engine is an enhanced third person view which, if implemented well like in Risen or Gothic 4, then that is how I will play the game. Sadly we have no idea what “improved” means in any of these cases, and third person could be just as wonky as before.

The location for the new game, Skyrim, wouldn’t have been my first pick for a location in the Elder Scrolls universe, but it’s not bad. I’m just glad they keep moving the location of the game. First of all it allows them to give us a completely new experience each time, which I am completely happy about. Sadly it’s not the Black Marsh, which I was hoping for. Am I worried about the snow covered mountains of Skyrim? Not after playing the Bloodmoon expansion for Morrowind. Bethesda knows how to do a snow covered landscape well.

So what are some of the other exciting bits we’ve gotten? Here’s a list:

Dual Wield – Thankfully this is finally being implemented.

Inheritance – If you kill a merchant NPC, his son will take over the business and remember you as the murderer. This could lead to some awesome moments if done right.

Level scaling – Done in the style of Fallout instead of Oblivion, which I’m thrilled with. I love level scaling, and I feel the Fallout series got it right on the money.

Radiant storytelling – The game records how well you do, and what you’ve done, so if you get a quest to kill bandits in a cave, it’ll pick a cave you’ll never been in, and populate it with appropriate level bandits. If you however just walk into a random cave it could be monsters that are far above your current level.

Sprinting – GOOD GOD I’ve missed this. I HATED the lack of it in Oblivion, but it was especially bad in Fallout 3 and New Vegas where you didn’t have a horse to speed things up.

Finishing moves  – Unique to each weapon AND enemy you fight, this could seriously make melee combat much more interesting.

Release date – supposedly November 11

I can’t wait for this game. The Elder Scrolls is by far my favorite RPG series, and it has been ever since I played Daggerfall in anticipation of Morrowind. If they can pull off everything they’ve promised, this game could give me as much play time as an MMO. More in some cases. What do you think? Leave you comments below.

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Decision Time

April 22, 2010

Fallout3

While reloading Fallout 3 for the third time today (a total of six so far!) I stumbled upon the fact that Fallen Earth is on a very nice sale. Let me explain the first part of that. I love Bethesda games, while Bethesda games hate me. They crash usually at a rate of once an hour on any machine I put them on, with or without mods. This has been the case since Morrowind, on through it’s expansion packs, into Oblivion and it’s expansion, and straight on to Fallout 3. I put up with it because they are amazing games and a quick reload once an hour isn’t going to ruin my experience.

On to the sale and the decision. This sale is calling to me. I really REALLY enjoyed my time in Fallen Earth and my body has been craving a return, it’s partly why I am loading up Fallout 3. I love the setting and to be honest I enjoyed Fallen Earth MORE than Fallout 3, though it lacks any single player story of course. I also didn’t experience it’s lack of end game, but that doesn’t bother me as I can just roll alts until I get bored with that and leave the game. I don’t feel that MMO’s begin at the end game. I enjoy the leveling and then usually get bored afterwards.

So what the dilemma? If I buy Fallen Earth I would need to unsub from Star Trek Online until I was done playing Fallen Earth, or maybe swap them out every month if I felt like it. This is because I only have two games ever going at the same time, one I play with my wife and one I play by myself. It’s a financial issue that I refuse to budge on, as $45 a month for MMOs is more than enough for me.

The two games are vastly different. On one hand I love the story missions in STO. They have an interesting story and lots of scripted events that can make them very enjoyable. On the other hand that’s pretty much all the game has going for it at the moment aside from the Fleet. In Fallen Earth I have much more to do, but less people to do it with (and far less that I know, IE nobody). Add onto that the fact that Fallen Earth doesn’t have great story quests, though there are a few, and it’s going to be a tough choice.

I think for the blog it would be more interesting to play Fallen Earth, as there is more to do and even if all of the bloggers I read were writing about it, each of us would be doing something different. In STO it feels like you are on serious rails, and you are, which isn’t a bad thing, just a different feel. Well, what do you all think?

LavaTree1

The beauty and quests of Star Trek Online?

Sunset

Or the grit and adventure of Fallen Earth?

Raptr Forum Signature

GameSpot Fuse

April 21, 2010

Fuse

I received an invitation on spam account to join GameSpot Fuse, the beta anyway. I got all excited because I have been downloading and trying out Steam alternatives for tracking achievements, IMing and other services inside games. I tried X-Fire, the most fugly piece of software I’ve ever used, including their website.

I then moved to Raptr because there services seemed better, and so far I’m pretty happy with it, especially since they now allow in game instant messaging. When I read this in my inbox I thought that GameSpot was coming out with an alternative to these products and I signed up to test it out.

It turns out, or so it seems at the moment, that it just integrated into your Raptr account and tracks those statistics on your GameSpot site. This is useless to me. I don’t hang around and friend people on GameSpot and I doubt ever go there unless I am following a random link. I wanted a client to download that would do this, and I already have the client they use apparently.

I’ll continue messing with it to see if there are other features I’m missing, but if not it seems rather limited. There ARE special GameSpot achievements, but I couldn’t care less about them. I only enjoy achievements that I randomly get while playing and I never go out of my way to even find out what achievements are out there. Except in MMO’s, where I will go FAR FAR out of my way to achieve Deeds or other “achievement” type trophies.

Let me know if you have found a different use for it, I’d be interested to know.

On a completely unrelated note I’ve been reading my favorite book trilogy again, in omnibus form, The Faded Sun Trilogy by C. J. Cherryh. I am a lover of settings. I don’t care what the story is (though the story is great in these books) if it has a good setting, and this plays over into movies, books and games. I’ll pick up pen and paper role-playing books with no intention of playing them, just to read up on the setting. I create settings in my free time and try to breathe as much life into them as I can, without ever creating anything resembling a story. C. J. Cherryh puts my efforts to shame in this science fiction trilogy that creates two VERY unique alien races that have amazing depth, relatable to us enough that you can understand them, but different enough that you don’t read them as being human.

I’m also preparing Fallout 3 for another playthrough. This entails a lot of searching on mod sites and downloading random things to improve the game. I have the same several day adventure whenever I try and play Morrowind or Oblivion too. Got any mods you’d recommend for Fallout 3? Leave them in the comments.

Never fear though, I shall return to MMO’s shortly. I have a Star Trek Online post I’m putting the finishing touches on, as well as a few other little things that are in the works. Now I’m going back to my book.

Blogger Interrupted

March 26, 2010

mmo-addiction

I just wanted to do a quick response to some of the blog’s I’ve been reading recently. First up is Alex Taldren who posted a clip of The Secret World gameplay and complained that it looked like Age of Conan and said that even though the combat looked like Hellgate: London or Fallen Earth, it was still better than most MMO combat.

I remember when Age of Conan first came out and we were all drooling over the graphics and how amazing they were for an MMO. I recently picked up the trial to see how things had changed and it STILL looks amazing, one of the best looking MMOs on the market. When did this become a bad thing? Do we really need to improve on the graphics with every game at the cost of stability, gameplay and fun? Can’t we stick with a nice level of graphics and just improve the game for a while?

The other point from his post I wanted to get into is the complaints I hear, not just from him but from most bloggers, about the boring MMO combat system. There are a few others but for the most part MMOs all control like World of Warcraft. Everyone seems to be complaining about this. The problem I have is that the people complaining aren’t offering up any alternatives. Of course these alternatives would have to be something that wouldn’t alienate too many people, which is the problem with adding FPS mechanics into an MMO. What other control schemes are out there? You want a Fable control scheme? It’s out there already, and it’s pretty much WoW without the action bar.

To me it seems like these same people could play a First Person Shooter and complain about the First Person Shooter combat. If it’s not your cup of tea I’m sorry but maybe it’s not for you. Maybe I’ve got all this wrong though and people have a good idea of what they want. I can’t imagine it’s the Darkfall style combat though as that basically takes the Morrowind/Oblivion combat style, which EVERYONE agreed was the worst part about those games.

The second blog post I want to comment on is Player vs. Developer’s post on Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unleashed and it’s cash shop. He argues that a poor exchange rate (unless you buy the most expensive iteration of points) is a barrier to entry. I would simply argue that he is looking at it the wrong way. The normal amount of points here is the bottom rate, $6.50 for 420 points. If you are willing to spend more you get more for your dollar as a thank you. It’s not that they are gimping your spending if you don’t spend much, they are just rewarding you if you spend more, which is exactly what a cash shop SHOULD do. Make me WANT to spend $50 at the cash shop and you know what, if I only want to spend EXACTLY enough to buy a new race or class, I can do that too.

The last blog I’d like to address is Hardcore Casual and it’s post on FFA vs. Faction based PVP. I’d have to say that while I prefer faction based PVP for the stability and security to be “safe” sometimes, I might change my tune if there was a FFA game I could try that did not have full loot rules. Maybe it’s out there and I just haven’t found it yet, but the full loot really kills a game for me. I know it shouldn’t but I haven’t been able to get into it since Ultima Online, and I could enjoy it in that game because the community policed themselves, literally you have guilds that acted as police and protection for miners or lumberjacks and wondered the woods killing any PKers. Now days everyone just wants to grief and I don’t enjoy being griefed. More power to those who do I guess.

This post turned out to be longer than I wanted it to be, but I just had to respond to a few things.