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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.
Back in July, the right honourable Philip Savage told you about The Forgotten City, an ambitious Skyrim mod that tells a murder mystery in an ancient subterranean city. It fits with existing Elder Scrolls lore, which is nice, it boasts an original orchestral soundtrack, 18 voice actors and over 1200 lines, and features a non-linear story set across multiple timelines—and, oh yeah, this hugely exciting mod is out now.
Moral dilemmas, puzzles, and multiple endings are also things to expect, over the course of The Modern Storyteller's 6-8-hour-long adventure. Get it from ModDB here, or Nexus Mods here, or the Steam Workshop here, and be sure to watch the launch trailer above.
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.
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.
The team behind the Morrowind-based Skyrim mod Skywind has released an update video, to let everyone know they're "still alive and working just as hard".
The video runs through a few of the locations and creatures that those who've played Morrowind will recognise, but updated for the Skyrim engine: places like West Gash and Bitter Coast, and creatures like the impressive Kwama Forager and the adorable Guar Pup.
There's also mention of AI schedules and town clutter, which should serve to make this fan version of Morrowind feel a little more alive than the original. You can also see that intent in the trailer release back in March that shows the reimagined Seyda Neen, the starting town from the game.
We don't yet know when Skywind will be ready and available, but when it does come out you'll need legitimate copies of both Morrowind and Skyrim to run it.
Skyrim's taverns. They're cozy, they're comfy, but to be perfectly honest, there's not a whole lot to do in them except run in and sell a load of collected crap to the innkeeper and maybe knock a few things off the tables as you rush back out.
The Tavern Games mod aims to change that by adding two dice games, a card game, a board game, and even lottery tickets to Skyrim's inns and pubs. Just walk up to anyone in the tavern and begin a conversation, and there will be a dialogue option to play a game. Provided they have enough money, they'll agree to play. I mean, what else do they have to do besides sitting silently while eating comically large loaves of bread?
The games are relatively simple, and there's no animation when you roll the dice or play the cards—they just appear on the table—but it's still a nice way to spend a few minutes and try to win some cash. Here are the table games:
One player rolls two dice, and then guesses if his opponents roll will be higher, lower, or equal. If you bet on equal and win, you receive triple the payout. Get it wrong, and you lose triple your bet.
One player rolls two dice, and the total of that roll is multiplied by three—let's call that new total the Jack. After a coin flip to determine who goes first, the two players roll dice, trying to get as close as they can to the Jack without going over. If you bust, the other player wins. Hit the Jack exactly, and you win twice the bet.
The Battle of Heroes
A card game. Each player draws and plays three cards with numbers on them between 1 and 10. Add them up and that's your Hero Power for the round. At that point, you can choose to roll the dice up to two times to add to your Hero Power, though that dice roll costs gold which goes directly to the other player. In other words, you have to balance how much you stand to lose by rolling against how much you stand to win by having a higher Hero Power than the other player. Granted, it ain't exactly Gwent, but at least you can attempt to cheat.
Talk to the innkeeper and you'll be able to buy a rulebook for these games for a couple Septims. You'll also be able ask the tavern owner to play a board game with you.
The Daedra Challenge
This is probably the simplest game: dice rolls happen automatically and your pieces move around the board by themselves, attempting to get to the center first. Land on an arrow and you slide to the spot the arrow is pointing. Land on a skull, and you're asked a multiple choice question. Get it wrong, and you go back to the start. If you win, you get a gift from the innkeeper.
If you're looking for straight-up no-skill gambling, you might try purchasing a lottery ticket. Open it in your inventory to see if you've won, and if so, redeem it with an innkeeper. Prizes can be any number of things: gold, a spell book, potions, ingots, and even several nights of free room and board. I won two ingots! It was my lucky day.
Of course, if you know one thing about the rabble haunting Skyrim's taverns, it's that they don't exactly have a ton of gold, so most of the games you play will be of the low stakes variety (unless you yourself are just starting out and don't have much cash of your own). I did find a gambler named Gambler in the tavern in Solitude, however, who had a decent amount of Septims. He no longer does, thanks to a couple games of Dice Jack.
Remember that ambitious total conversion mod for Skyrim we covered earlier this year? Well, it's still in development, and while no release date has been confirmed just yet, the video above is the most substantial look at the mod in action I've seen yet.
Skyrim Enderal is developed by SureAI, the same team responsible for Nehrim: At Fates Edge, which was a total conversion project for Oblivion. It's well worth reading our interview with the team, where they discuss the logistic issues that abound when creating a hobbyist, non-for-profit mod that will (hopefully) rival the vanilla campaign.
Thanks to VG247.
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.
Given the success of Skyrim—and the upcoming release of Fallout 4—you might hope that Bethesda would have plans to announce a new Elder Scrolls RPG in the near future. Not so, according to Bethesda's Pete Hines.
During a chat with Dualshockers, the studio's VP of Marketing explained that Bethesda was still working on Fallout 4—a process that takes the entire studio's focus.
As such, Hines doesn't believe we're close to hearing about a new Elder Scrolls game. In fact, he believes it will be a "very long time" before the team is ready to talk about what they have planned after Fallout 4.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given how close Fallout 4's own announcement was to its release. Skyrim was launched in late-2011, and it was only two months ago that Bethesda confirmed the existence of their next game.