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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Elder Scrolls Online blog details the creation of the new flame atronach">Elder Scrolls Online flame atronach







A new post on the Elder Scrolls Online blog offers a look at the creation of everyone’s favorite flaming daedra, the flame atronach. The ESO dev team has been focusing on lots of flickering flame effects and suitably creepy demonic sound effects to bring the creatures to life.







“Sound effects are critical for any creature—especially for one with so many kinds of movements and attacks,” the post reads. “Most of us are familiar with the kinds of sounds fire can make, but how do we create believable audio for a creature of animate, magical flame? Our Sound Designers get a good look at creatures and their animations before they get to work to get an idea of the kinds of sounds they’ll need to create. For the flame atronach, they imagined how its various attacks would sound right away. Utilizing huge sound libraries, they found sounds for swinging torches, campfires, and even an actual geyser.”



The video shows off a lot of details in a short time. There’s enchanted weapons, dual-wielding, a first-person perspective and dodging attacks with combat rolls. There’s also the inevitable death that comes when you charge face-first into a group of flame atronachs. And with a fire damage weapon? Come on, guy, it’s like you’re not even trying.







Elder Scrolls Online is shaping up quickly, aiming for an early 2014 launch. Check out Chris's impression from his hands-on time back in May.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

If someone is keeping a Big List Of Inevitable Things somewhere, they can cross out ‘modders remaking Morrowind in the Skyrim engine’. For it is no longer inevitable, but is in fact, er, evitable? No, that’s not right. Though I guess you could avoid it, but that would make the modders of Skywind very sad indeed, because all their hard work in rebuilding Morrowind is worth looking at. Even if you just coo over the videos below, because cooing over the scenery is pretty much all that’s possible right now. (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: Gifts of the Outsider, for Skyrim">goheader







Perry recently told us about a mod called Gifts of the Outsider that imports the magic powers from Dishonored into Skyrim: Blink, Possession, Bend Time, Devouring Swarm, Wind Blast, and Void Gaze. I decided to the use the mod not just for its powers, but also to reenact the plot of Dishonored in Skyrim: the tale of an honorable man seeking revenge after being framed for a crime he didn’t commit. It’ll be just like Dishonored, only in Skyrim, and starring a furry woman with a tail. Just call me Khorvo.



Don’t worry, this will be supremely light on Dishonored spoilers, I'll cover a few of the activities you perform during the Dishonored campaign, Skyrim style. Let’s get started. What’s the first thing you do in Dishonored?



Play Hide-and-Seek with a Child



This is how REAL assassins train. Next: hopscotch.



I find some kids running around in Solitude, but they don’t want to play hide-and-seek, so we play tag instead. Minette Vinius and I chase each other around, forming a close personal bond that will surely keep me motivated in the dark days to come. I catch her and tag her and then I fast-travel to Whiterun so she’ll never be able to catch me and she'll be “It” forever.



Go To Prison for a Crime I Didn’t Commit



In Whiterun, I use a Frenzy spell on some guy standing around in the city. He goes nuts and starts attacking anyone nearby. The guards run over and arrest me while he is killed in the background. I’m shocked and outraged. I didn’t kill anyone! It was all him! You won’t get away with this! I will have my revenge! Looks like I’ve been... DISHONORED!



Can you believe the crime around here, officer? Wait, what did I do?



Escape from Prison



Not a problem! Pulling a lockpick out of my butt, I open the cell door, sneak through the prison, collect my gear, and slip back out into the streets. You’ll all pay for what you’ve done, I silently vow. All of you. It’s time to reclaim my honor. But how?



Meet the Outsider



Since I’m a wanted woman in Whiterun, I need to get away to plot my revenge. I head out to an abandoned house west of Riften, where I find a book and read it. I appear in Limbo, where everything is floaty and slanty, and meet The Outsider. He gives me the Blink power, which lets me teleport short distances. He tells me there are other powers I can collect by visiting his other shrines. Could these powers be the key to destroying those who wronged me?



I promise I'll only use Blink for good or for revenge or for fun.



Assassinate an Important Religious Figure



There are plenty of religious types in Skyrim, but when I think about one I’d like to assassinate, a particular zealot immediately comes to mind: Heimskr, the Nord Priest of Talos. Even if you don’t know his name, you know him: he’s the dude who stands in the middle of Whiterun and screeches incessantly about Talos, all day, every day. Oh, and is it a coincidence that the spot he stands in is just yards from where I was arrested for my “crime?” Not a chance. His death will mark the beginning of my quest to dis-dishonor myself.



This looks cool but I'm actually sliding off the statue for the 8th time.



I creep through Whiterun, using my new Blink spell. It’s neat, it really does zip you around, even on top of buildings, though I tend to slowly slide off. I blink onto the statue behind Heimskr, then to the ground behind him, and then I stab him in the back. I blink away onto a rooftop and the guards look around, confused, having no idea where I went. Actually, they don’t seem confused at all. They immediately shoot me with a bunch of arrows. I run away, but only because I'm in a hurry to reclaim my honor.



Now to just fold up my sword and OWW IT’S NOT A FOLD-UP SWORD



Now that Heimskr is dead, it’s time to find another Outsider shrine, collect a new power, and choose a new target. In the sewers under Riften, I find the shrine, caress the skull, and acquire the Devouring Swarm rune.



Assassinate Two People in a Brothel



Haelga’s Bunkhouse in Riften isn’t a brothel, but it sort of sounds like it could be. You know there are at least a few inappropriate back-rubs going on in there. I summon up a swarm of rats, and try to kill two people with them.



The perfect crime. Good luck trying to arrest swarm of rats, coppers!



Okay, the rats sort of killed everyone in the entire building. Those rats are NOT messing around. Having killed a room full of people with rats, a feeling seeps into my heart. I haven’t felt it in a long time, not since earlier today, but I know what that feeling is. It’s honor, slowly returning to me. I collect the Possession rune near the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, and I’m on to my next mission.



Abduct a Doctor on a Bridge



The first step goes well: I head to Dragon Bridge. I run into a bit of a snag here, though, as there do not appear to be any doctors out for a stroll across Dragon Bridge today. For a lesser assassin, that would be a problem, but I’m clever enough to find the owner of a lumber mill sitting nearby. A lumberjack is sort of like a doctor for trees, if doctors killed all of their patients and cut them into pieces, right? (The answer is: right.) He’s not on the bridge, but that can remedied with my new Possession spell. I leap into his mind and run him onto the bridge, where I pop out of the back of his head.



Revenge is a dish best served inside an innocent lumberjack’s head.



Having gotten him onto to the bridge, it’s time to abduct him off the bridge, which means possessing him again. I steer him off the other side of the bridge and into the wilderness. Abduction accomplished! I figure I’ll just keep possessing him and repossessing him and making him run so far away he’ll never find his way back, thus completing the abduction, but thirty seconds later we run into a bear and the bear kills him.



Looks like I got out of this dude’s head just in time.



I’ve just used magic to get a lumber mill owner murdered by a bear. I’m one step closer to regaining my honor. I visit another shrine and collect the Wind Blast rune.



Kill a Fancy Woman at a Fancy Party



There actually is a dinner party quest in Skyrim, but I’ve already completed it, so I need to find another fancy lady at a fancy place and kill her, fancy style. For honor. I know! The Blue Palace at Solitude. It’s the fanciest place I can think of.



Making sure to avoid Minette Vinius (I don’t want to get tagged “It” again!) I run through Solitude and enter The Blue Palace, which is run by Elisif The Fair, a fancy woman. I creep into the throne room, where there are some people hanging around. Looks like a party to me. Sorry I didn’t bring any WINE, I growl from the shadows, but I did bring some WIND!



Get it? Wine. Wind. Almost the same word. And so forth.



They don’t seem to get my wine/wind joke, probably because they are being slammed all over the room by magic wind. It’s a great spell: it’s like the Unrelenting Force shout, only you can hold down the button to keep it on, sending everyone flying all over the place until your Magicka is drained. After blowing everyone around the palace for a while, I head to the nearby mountains to collect the Bend Time rune. It’s time to kill the most important person in Skyrim.



It’s Time to Kill The Most Important Person In Skyrim



I figure the Jarl of Whiterun is the most important person in Skyrim, except for maybe me. I sneak into his chambers in the dead of night, slipping past a couple guards after slowing down time. It doesn’t quite work how I want: I was perfectly hidden from them until I cast the spell, which made them aware of me. The spell slows down time just fine, though, and even having seen me, the guards don’t seem to care that I’m creeping around near the Jarl’s bedroom casting time-bending spells in the dead of night.



You can’t really tell, but he is dying in slow motion. I can vouch for that.



The Jarl has an honorable, slow-motion death as I hack at his sleeping body. The guards run over to arrest me, and I try telling them that I’d rather die than go to prison, anticipating a fun Blink-filled escape from Whiterun. Unfortunately, Skyrim does that thing where it doesn’t select the line of dialogue I’m pointing at, so I accidentally bribe the guards and they peacefully escort me to the front door. Oh well.



Skip A Big Part of Dishonored’s Story To Avoid Spoilers



My easiest mission yet! I collect the final rune, Void Gaze, so I guess we’re ready for the big finale:



Kill Someone At a Lighthouse



Back in Solitude, I run around the lighthouse long enough discover there’s no one important in the lighthouse or on top of the lighthouse. There’s only Ma’zaka, the lighthouse keeper, but he’s downstairs in his little chambers. I sneak in, and use Void Gaze, which works like Detect Life, letting you see people through walls. I could possess him, run him up to the top of the lighthouse, and Wind Blast him off, but when you’re possessing someone they can’t open doors, so I have no way to get him out of his room. If I want to kill him, I’ll have to kill him right here.



Yep. There he is.



This isn’t quite the grand ending from Dishonored, though. I know that killing people with rats and blasting a fancy woman into her own ceiling and getting a lumberjack bear-mauled were all necessary -- absolutely necessary -- to regain my honor. But killing Ma’zaka, a humble, harmless lighthouse keeper in his own bedroom to end the story... it would just be complete anti-climax, wouldn’t it?



Yep. It was a complete anti-climax.



Lesson learned: if you want Dishonored’s story, go play Dishonored. If you want to have fun with Dishonored’s powers in Skyrim, though, this mod works great.



Installation: I installed this with the Nexus Mod Manager, but the mod looks as if it's just a single bsa and esp file. So, if you're doing it manually, just download the files and plop 'em in your Skyrim data folder (Steam > steamapps > common > skyrim > Data). No magic required.



Looking for more Skyrim mods? We recently updated out grand list of the best 50 for your perusal.
Product Release - Valve
In celebration of QUAKECON, save big on different games from id Software and Bethesda each day, now through August 5th at 10am Pacific Time.

Today only, save 40-75% on The Elder Scrolls Franchise on Steam!

Or, pick up the massive QUAKECON Pack, a collection of all released id and Bethesda titles for this weekend only!

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more great deals and special offers.

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Elder Scrolls Anthology bundles every mudcrab, dragon, and potato-faced human">Skyrim thumb







At QuakeCon last night, Bethesda announced The Elder Scrolls Anthology, a special edition retail release containing every TES game, expansion and DLC pack. That's a hell of a lot of prison escapes, grand adventure, and stilted voice acting being packed into a single box. But if you're not tempted by an attractive re-release of games you likely already own, the developer is also packaging the ultimate in PC gaming physical rewards: five maps, covering Tamriel, Iliac Bay, Morrowind, Cyrodiil and Skyrim.



Here's what you'll get:









The Elder Scrolls Arena

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

The Elder Scrolls III DLC: Tribunal

The Elder Scrolls III DLC: Bloodmoon

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls IV DLC: Knights of the Nine

The Elder Scrolls IV DLC: Shivering Isles

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V DLC: Dawnguard

The Elder Scrolls V DLC: Hearthfire

The Elder Scrolls V DLC: Dragonborn





Given Bethesda's tendency to bundle the official Oblivion add-ons onto retail discs, it's a likely bet that they'll be included as well. After all, it's not much of an anthology if it doesn't include Horse Armour.



It's a lovely looking artefact for fans of the series, but if you just want the games, there are cheaper options. With Bethesda running Steam sales this weekend in celebration of QuakeCon, expect to see Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim all get heavy discounts at some point. As for Arena and Daggerfall, both have been released as free downloads directly from Bethesda.



The Elder Scrolls Anthology will release September 13th in Europe, and September 10th in North America. It will cost £49.99 / $79.99 / €59.99 / $89.99AUD



Thanks, IGN.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

You say that phrase just once and they'll be pulling an arrow from a far more uncomfortable part of your body. Falskaar is a folly. It really shouldn’t exist. It’s a ploy by a 19 year-old modder to prove to Bethesda that he can make something that rivals their DLC, but with a fraction of their resources. That’s a bold claim for an amateur to make. Can it be done? Skyrim‘s built for adventurers and sightseers, not just quest hunters. It’s a place as much as it is a game. Is Falskaar a place? I spent the morning playing it to find out. > (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

Wow there, Tippy!Living in Skyrim must be like having Charlie Kaufman as your god. You’d be pottering along, chopping wood, checking the sky for falling dragon poop, just doing your best as a person living in interesting times. You’re not noticing the changes that are happening right under your nose: the flowers look prettier, you can’t speak when you want to, and before you know what’s going on there’s an airship overhead. The hands of mod, reshaping your reality. I expect most of the inhabitants have just woken up to the new neighbouring landmass of Falskaar. The mod adds a remarkable amount of new stuff to base Skyrim, clicking in a new continent of content for you to play. Everyone seems to be talking about it, and with good reason. (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Behind Falskaar, a massive new Skyrim mod, and the 19-year-old who spent a year building it">Falskaar







We love Skyrim mods. A new, noteworthy one for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Falskaar, was released over the weekend, and it is quite a doozy. Falskaar adds almost 25 hours of content, a land mass a third the size of the original game, new characters, new voices, and dozens of quests. As impressive as it is, though, it’s nowhere near as impressive as the creative force behind it: Alexander J. Velicky, a 19-year-old gunning for a job with Bethesda with his first try at modding Skyrim.



“I organized everyone involved, but the voice actors themselves recorded all the dialogue and submitted it to me,” Velicky told me. Though over 100 people contributed in some way, including composing an original soundtrack, Velicky took their contributions and plugged them into Falskaar himself. “I had some people help me out with a few models and textures, someone wrote a book or two for me... But otherwise all content was implemented, written and developed by me.”



So how does a 19-year-old take the helm of a creative project of this size? Velicky wants a job. He graduated from high school over a year ago, and instead of finding a design school, he turned Bethesda’s Creation Kit into his classroom, spending 2,000 hours over the last year building Falskaar.







“ was incredibly supportive and allowed me to live here, paying for living expenses and charging no rent,” Velicky says. “I was able to not go to school and not have a day job. Meaning, more or less, that Falskaar was my day job.”



The mod is fully voice-acted by 29 voice actors playing 54 characters (Velicky held auditions), and the quality is much higher than most community-made content. “I'm still kind of shocked at some of the talent I got on the project... and every single one of them surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds.”



A massive dungeon, “Watervine Chasm,” may be Falskaar’s crowning achievement. It took Velicky three weeks to build and players report it takes an hour or two to complete. The community response has been overwhelmingly positive.



“Falskaar isn't perfect,” Velicky says. “I'm not an expert who's been crafting game experiences for the last 20 years, so I certainly still have a lot to learn, and I always will. I'm always looking to learn and improve, and Falskaar was a huge chance for me to do this.”







According to Velicky, Bethesda is aware that he’s out there, and he isn’t shy about putting his goals right out on the table. “The best way to show Bethesda Game Studios that I want a job there and should be hired is to create content that meets the standards of their incredible development team.”



Falskaar is available now on Skyrim Nexus, and I encourage you to check it out. Have a gander at our list of the 25 Best Skyrim Mods, too.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Elder Scrolls Online’s dungeons will be instanced, difficult settings for group play">Elder Scrolls Online





Elder Scrolls fans are getting really worried about next year’s Elder Scrolls Online, for fear that it will simply be a World of Warcraft clone with a thin flavor of Tamriel sprinkled on top. A blog post on ESO’s website describes the innerworkings of the game’s instanced group-based dungeons, and what it reveals plays a little bit to each side of that argument.

In the post, developers explain that enemies in the same room will operate on a “pack mentality” basis, where an attack on any one of them alerts all of the others. Tanking members of a dungeon group will base their strategy off the knowledge that “By default, a pack of monsters spreads out, and each enemy chooses a target,” as the post explains. “Player actions can change their targets to some extent. For example, taunt abilities force an enemy to attack you for a fixed duration.”

This is worryingly standard MMO construction, as are the enumerated differences between the three members of the Tank/Healer/DPS holy trinity. The tank needs to control the fight by keeping enemies focused on him; the DPS needs to cause damage without bringing too many enemies into the scrap at once; the healer needs to keep an eye on everyone’s health bars. So far, so 2005.

But lo! A ray of hopeful sunshine appears! ESO has always promised the open-ended, multiclass play that we love, where an Orc with a penchant for dual-wielding battle axes can also deploy the gentle caress of healing magic. In ESO, skill bars will change depending on the weapons equipped, allowing a single character to switch between various roles depending on their current equipment.

“Let’s say your group’s healer goes down during a boss battle... You swap your two-handed sword out right in the middle of  combat for a restoration staff, which activates your second hotbar (where you’ve cleverly slotted some healing abilities). Now, you can keep the party going.”

Is this enough to dramatically mix up the rote MMO formula? Is this twist just enough to claim that their game is different, but without actually changing the fundamentals? I suspect that fans on either side of the debate will find evidence for their side.

Elder Scrolls Online is slated for a 2014 release.
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