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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to 15 things we want to see in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim">



I love Oblivion, but not because it was perfect. That and the previous Elder Scrolls game Morrowind were great because they tried more than they could do flawlessly - that's what made them so liberating compared to a lot of other RPGs. Now that we know Skyrim is coming, though, it's time to take a harder look at what the Elder Scrolls games could be doing better. This is what we want from The Elder Scrolls V.



1. A better level up system

If I want to be a good swordsman in Oblivion, the last thing I should do is pick Blade as one of my specialty skills. If I avoid it completely, I can still get better with a sword through practise, and it won't raise my character level. I can become the greatest swordsman in the world for any given level.



Improving skills with practise is a cornerstone of the Elder Scrolls series, and it has potential. But TES V needs to find a smarter way to blend it with the intentionality of character customisation.



2. Content that doesn't scale

We need to feel like leveling up makes us more powerful. If the whole world levels up with us, that sense is lost. It also makes the game world too even: nowhere is particularly dangerous in Oblivion because everything is so politely level-appropriate. Morrowind had some level-scaling, but enough fixed danger to feel wild, and enough genuine progression to be compulsive.



3. Vicious combat



At level 1, hitting someone with a warhammer feels great. They just crumple. In the late game, though, you and your enemies have such a vast pool of hitpoints that every fight is a war of attrition, which makes each blow feel meaningless. It needs to be quick, vicious and deadly, whatever level you're at.



4. A bigger voice cast

Unless one of them is Billy West (Fry, Dr Zoidberg, Professor Farnsworth, Zapp Brannigan, Richard Nixon, Abraham Lincoln, Leo Wong and Humorbot 5.0 in Futurama), you can't use the same few guys for a world with hundreds of characters. You don't have to stump up for big names like Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean again - their celebrity didn't make the game better. Spend that money on a dozen more decent, varied performances.



5. Better faces

Look what you did to Patrick Stewart:







6. No face zoom

Regardless of looks, it's not polite to get up in someone's grill to quite this extent. Particularly if it involves extending your neck more than three meters.



7. NPCs who know when to shut up

Hey guys, the player's here! Let's all make canned smalltalk at the same time! Make sure your reply doesn't quite relate to what I said, and it's one he's heard three times in the last two minutes! Good day!



8. A more exciting magic system



The Destruction school of magic I inderstand. Restoration: yes. Even Illusion - invisibility and whatnot, great. Then Alteration? Spells that alter things? Don't all spells alter things? And Mysticism - as opposed to scientific magic? Some of the spells are great, but the schools themselves are well overdue for an overhaul to make them more logical, distinct and exciting.



9. Weird places

Forests are great. I have no issues with hills. I love a good lake. But I hope Skyrim has some regions that are just a little off, a little alien, a little non-Tolkeinian. That's why there are hordes of Morrowind fans who never accepted Oblivion - that and:



10. A proper PC interface

Come on, nerdy stats and inventory lists are what the PC was made for. Let us at 'em. Oblivion's interface is capable of listing between THREE and SIX items at a time before you have to scroll. Same goes for the map - if Bethesda have any idea how important a really good map can be to the sense of being in a fantasy world, the size of the damn thing in Oblivion didn't show it. These aren't huge issues, but look: modders fixed them in a day or two. If you seriously don't have anyone who can do that before release, hire those modders.



I know every cross-platform developer loves to say "All three versions are identical," to wash their hands of the platform wars, but guys: they're not. One of them is played with a mouse and keyboard from two feet away. Notice this.



11. Varied dungeons



We know you can do this now - Fallout 3 is an object lesson in filling an open world with interestingly different locations. Fantasy equivalent of that, please.



12. A main quest without the padding

The Oblivion gates themselves were the least interesting thing in Oblivion, reducing a freeform game to straight combat. So please don't ask us to fight through six of them in a row - very few players realised that they were even optional. The main quest in TES V should be as long or short as the interestingly different content you can make for it.



13. A villain we hate



It's hard to really get worked up about demons bent on destroying the world. I'd rather they didn't, but I have nothing against them personally. In Mass Effect, no-one really hated the Reapers. The guy we couldn't wait to kill was Saren, because our beef was personal. You don't have to have them kill our father/mother/brother/son/girlfriend - in fact that rarely works. They just have to be a bastard, and one who's getting away with it.



14. Modding tools



Bethesda have always been good with this - The Elder Scrolls Construction Set is a modder's dream, and the 24,000 mods it's led to demonstrates that. Almost every other niggle with Oblivion in this list was eventually addressed by the community. Unless you have a secret formula for making TES V all things to all people, please keep giving people the tools to tinker.



15. Free horse armour
Shacknews - Brian Leahy
Many of you may have seen this video, but there's nothing else going on today, so I'm posting this here because it is awesome. This is a stitched video of every level of Quake being completed at 100%, meaning all kills and all secrets on every level on Nightmare difficulty (via Reddit).

Now, each level was recorded separately and some hacking tools were used to start the next level with the previous level's inventory, but there was no hacking or cheating in the actual level runs. Ten players contributed runs to the project.

Oh, and you're going to hear the shotgun a lot.

Read More

Kotaku

Blazing your way through the original Quake from 1996 in less than 60 minutes might not impress hardened speed run enthusiasts, but what about doing so while also nailing 100% completion in Quake on its hardest difficulty?



That's what the Quake Done Quick team has done in this speed run that's almost too fast, burning through the first-person shooter in a little over 52 minutes. It's a blur of gibs, grunts and secret areas discovered and it's a great way to kill an hour during a slow week.



Quake done 100% Quickest [YouTube via Reddit]


Kotaku

Fallout: New Vegas Is Rolling In The Dead Money Dead Money, the first batch of downloadable content for Fallout: New Vegas, is now available on Xbox Live, and we've got a lovely screenshot gallery so the PC and PlayStation 3 gamers can play along.



Fallout: New Vegas players that scraped up the 800 Microsoft point asking price for the Xbox 360-exclusive Dead Money are likely searching for the lost treasure of the Sierra Madre Casino as we speak, so they need no gallery. The rest of us must content ourselves with a series of screenshots, as well as the knowledge that the expansion pack would have been that much more enjoyable had it been called Fallout: New Vegas - Dead Monkey. Just a 'K' away from true greatness.




Community Announcements - nbreckon
Our crazy Steam deals continue with major discounts on several Bethesda games, including Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.

Head to this page to keep up with all of the discounts. You can pick up big savings on individual titles, or purchase them all as one low-price pack.
PC Gamer


This week brings a wealth of RPGs! We all knew Mass Effect 3 and The Elder Scrolls V were coming someday, but now that they're officially announced we can officially begin the speculation.



Also,  strategist/columnist/podcaster/PhD Troy Goodfellow joins us to give his detailed report on the updates for Civilization V and Elemental, in addition to Call of Duty: Black Ops and Fallout: New Vegas bug fixes.



And in the spirit of getting things done before the year is over, give us a call toll free: 877-404-1337 ext 724 and leave us a question for the next show!



PC Gamer US Podcast - 252 Three Monitors Ahead







Mass Effect 3 trailer



The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Trailer



The Humble Indie Bundle 2



MLG's Top 20 StarCraft II replays
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to UK Christmas bonanza – Day 2: Win a Fallout: New Vegas Collector’s Edition and strategy guide">



Welcome to day two of the Christmas bonanza. We sent some interns into the PC Gamer catacombs to have a rummage through our pile o' loot and, surprisingly, one them came back, clutching a big, boxy, radioactive prize. Today you have a chance to win the Fallout: New Vegas Collector's Edition. It comes with some amazing limited edition box art and a copy of the game's gigantic guide. Read on to find out how to win.



The Fallout: New Vegas Collector's Edition has everything you need to become the ultimate wasteland casino crawler. As well as the game itself you get seven poker chips, one from each of New Vegas' gambling joints. Not even these can stack up to the royal flush of post-apocalyptic poker spoils, the "Lucky 38" platinum poker chip. It's not actually made of platinum, but it is extremely shiny. The box also comes with a deck of cards, a making-of DVD and a hardback graphic novel. We also have a limited edition comic cover, which you can see below. Click on the image to see it full size.







Then there's the Fallout: New Vegas strategy guide, which contains everything you need to know about the wastelands of Fallout: New Vegas. By everything, we really do mean everything. The guide is bigger than War and Peace, and includes information on every single foe you'll face in the game. Every inch of the wasteland is mapped, so you'll never get lost again. It's also hefty enough to double up as an excellent Radroach squasher.



Here in the British Isles we can't really claim to have anything as glitzy or manic as Las Vegas, but we do have Blackpool. Your challenge is to come up with a perk to survive the dangers of a post-apocalyptic Blackpool. Post in the comments below with your idea, and remember that you have to live in the UK to enter. All entries will be fed into the PC Gamer Gigglebot. The entry responsible for the highest giggles per second ratio will win the prize. We'll announce the winner tomorrow at midday.



Come back tomorrow for another giveaway, a massive amount of Gamers Gate games. We'll be holding one every day until Christmas day.



WINNER: Congrats to Flargana, for his Mysterious Donkey perk! We'll be in touch via pm to arrange delivery. Don't forget, we can only accept UK entries. And Irish, to answer JaxDasher's question.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Massive Fallout: New Vegas patch has landed">



Last week we mentioned that a comprehensive Fallout: New Vegas patch was on the way, promising a huge number of fixes for many of the quests in the game. That patch has finally arrived. Read on for the full list of updates, it's a big one.



The patch will be applied automatically when you restart Steam. Here's the list of fixes.



Top fixes:



Companions now show up as waypoints on the map

Companions will always fast travel with you, unless told to wait or sent away

Fix: DLC error/save corruption

Fix: Entering the strip after Debt Collector causes crash and autosave corruption

Fix: Using Mojave Express dropbox can cause DLC warnings

Crafting menu now filters valid (bright) recipes to the top of the list

Weathered pistol no longer glitches when applying mods



In addition, this patch addresses issues with the following areas:



Pip-Boy Interface

Pre-Order DLC Items

Reputation System

Radio Stations

Companion fixes

Companion Quests

Repair Menu

Caravan

Weapons and Weapon Mods

Hardcore Mode

Perks

Skills

Crafting Recipes

Crafting Menu

Mojave Express

Chems/Addiction

Doctors

Vendors



And fixes for the following quests:



Ain’t That a Kick in the Head

By a Campfire on The Trail

They Went That-a-Way

My Kind of Town

Boulder City Showdown

Ring a Ding Ding!

King’s Gambit

For The Republic, Part 2

Render Unto Caesar

Et Tumor, Brute?

The House Always Wins

Wild Card

Beyond the Beef

GI Blues

How Little We Know

Oh My Papa

Still In The Dark

You’ll Know It When It Happens

Arizona Killer

Eureka!

Veni, Vidi, Vici

All or Nothing

No Gods, No Masters

Birds of a Feather

I Put A Spell On you

Come Fly With Me

That Lucky Old Sun

Don’t Make a Beggar of Me

The White Wash

Ghost Town Gunfight

Restoring Hope

Bleed Me Dry

Aba Daba Honeymoon

Tend To Your Business

Wang Dang Atomic Tango

Flags of Our Foul-Ups

Debt Collector

Talent Pool

Left My Heart

Someone To Watch Over Me

Hard Luck Blues



If you were hesitant about picking up New Vegas because of all the bugs, now might be the time to take another look. For more, take a look at our Fallout: New Vegas review, and our round-up of the 25 best mods. Are you playing Fallout: New Vegas now? Has the patch fixed any problems you've been having?
Product Update - Valve
Fallout: New Vegas v1.2

This update addresses issues with the following areas:

- Pip-Boy Interface
- Repair Menu
- Caravan
- Weapons and Weapon Mods
- Hardcore Mode
- Perks
- Skills
- Crafting Recipes
- Crafting Menu
- Mojave Express
- Chems/Addiction
- Doctors
- Vendors
- PreOrder DLC Items
- Reputation System
- Radio Stations
- Companion fixes
- Companion Quests

And fixes for the following quests:

- Ain’t That a Kick in the Head
- By a Campfire on The Trail
- They Went That-a-Way
- My Kind of Town
- Boulder City Showdown
- Ring a Ding Ding!
- King’s Gambit
- For The Republic, Part 2
- Render Unto Caesar
- Et Tumor, Brute?
- The House Always Wins
- Wild Card
- Beyond the Beef
- GI Blues
- How Little We Know
- Oh My Papa
- Still In The Dark
- You’ll Know It When It Happens
- Arizona Killer
- Eureka!
- Veni, Vidi, Vici
- All or Nothing
- No Gods, No Masters
- Birds of a Feather
- I Put A Spell On you
- Come Fly With Me
- That Lucky Old Sun
- Don’t Make a Beggar of Me
- The White Wash
- Ghost Town Gunfight
- Restoring Hope
- Bleed Me Dry
- Aba Daba Honeymoon
- Tend To Your Business
- Wang Dang Atomic Tango
- Flags of Our Foul-Ups
- Debt Collector
- Talent Pool
- Left My Heart
- Someone To Watch Over Me
- Hard Luck Blues

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Confirmed: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will use an entirely new engine">



Bethesda Softworks community manager Nick Breckon has confirmed that the next Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim, will use an all new engine. This is contrary to a recent rumour that Bethesda's next game would still use the Gamebryo engine that powered The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3.



The controversy around Gamebryo can be summarised as: good at trees, crap at faces. It made Oblivion's landscapes gorgeous, but led to some ugly people and odd behaviour. The way it transitioned between low and high detail scenery as you moved through the world also caused some blurry textures and suddenly appearing objects on some machines.



Since Bethesda's parent company ZeniMax now owns id Software, the second most popular theory was that Skyrim might use id Tech 5, the engine developed for their next game Rage. Apparently not - "all new" suggests this is one developed specifically for Skyrim, or at least not seen in other games yet. Here's Nick's Tweet.
...

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