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

That bow's not going to help you in this situation. Just FYI.This Skyrim mod is actually called “Here There Be Monsters“, and it adds nine huge sea monsters into the Ghost Sea to the north of Bethesda’s chilly realm. But I’ve focused on the Horkers because, well, just look at that screenshot. It is a giant beast with a huge tooth. Look, though. Really look. See? He’s not a beast. He’s just a thing that society> deems to be big and scary. And so he acts as society imagines he should, and tusks everything and everyone. To be fair, he is part of a society of angry Nords fighting dragons and in the midst of a civil war. He should probably move somewhere nicer. (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Elder Scrolls Online trailer sets up the main quest, shows off new Oblivion realm">Coldharbour



When I saw Elder Scrolls Online a few months ago, it was revealed that the player will be sent on a central quest in the vein of those presented by the franchise's single player offerings. In ESO's case, it will revolve around the daedric prince Molag Bal, who takes the liberty of stealing your soul very shortly after character creation. This new trailer details the premise briefly, and shows off some in-game footage of Molag Bal's plane of Oblivion, Coldharbour.

In keeping with Coldharbour's nautical park theme, the realm itself is trying to quite literally drop anchor and merge with Tamriel. Dark Anchors will serve as part of the game's dynamic content, spawning enemies similar to the Oblivion gates we learned to love and hate in Elder Scrolls IV. Along with the tie-in to the main quest, we've also been told these will hook up with the Fighters' and Mages' Guild progressions.

The purpose of Coldharbour is, purportedly, to store the mortal souls Molag Bal has enslaved. By the looks of it, he just likes chaining them together and having them sway in mute misery. I guess it adds to the ambience, but I feel like he could be doing more with so many captive, androgynous, bald figures in drab robes. You know, get some frozen lemonade stands going. Those anchors are going to be bringing in a lot of foot traffic, after all.

If you haven't already, you can sign up for the ESO beta on the official site.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition is coming this June">Skyrim 610x347



The inevitable bumper edition of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been scheduled for a June 7 release. The Legendary Edition bundles the core game with the Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn DLC. It will also benefit from the perks update 1.9 ushered in, including a new Legendary difficulty level, tweaks to allow ongoing leveling of skills, and all manner of bug fixes as detailed here. So if you passed on the game the first time around for some reason, then now's probably a better time than any to dive in.

The news follows Bethesda's announcement that the core Skyrim team is moving onto other projects, marking the end of an era. Minor updates and fixes will continue, but, as we reported last week, the team's focus has shifted to the next major release, which Bethesda describes as their "biggest and best work yet."

 

 
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Elder Kings mod brings The Elder Scrolls to Crusader Kings 2">Elder Kings



In Skyrim, while you were shouting down dragons, dicing up Daedra and fast-travelling up a bloody big mountain, did you ever stop to wonder what it would be like to pack up adventuring and go live as a Jarl? Probably not - their life appears to be a repetitious bore of sitting on a throne, wandering to bed, going back to the throne and occasionally making a pompous speech. But, if untethered from Bethesda's engine, they could get up to all sorts of political and military mischief. That's the aim of Elder Kings - an Elder Scrolls themed mod for Crusader Kings 2.

It's set before Skyrim. In fact, it's set before all the Elder Scrolls games, taking place in the Interregnum period of the Second Era. Supposedly, it was a time of petty bickering and tribal warring - which makes for a perfect Crusader Kings setting.

The mod promises 25 races and cultures, with unique bonuses for each, as well as new traits, events and diseases - adding vampirism to CK2's already eclectic range of ailments.

It's still early in development, although the recent 0.1.1 patch has fixed a fair number of bugs from launch. You can download Elder Kings from ModDB.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

That Skyrimajigger, huh? Who’d have thought it’d ever catch on, what with all its burly men, dragons, viking imagery, and infinitely memeable sights and sounds? In an industry that prizes quiet, civil ruminations on modern issues and abhors such savage flights of fancy, the very notion was ludicrous from the get-go. And yet, somehow, for some reason, people ended up thinking it was OK. So Bethesda stuck around and churned out buttery dollops of DLC, even though it desperately wanted to move on to its next speculative installation about a world in which nuclear bombs were never used nor created, and you explore places like Washing D.C. while constantly remarking how normally proportioned all the roaches are. Now, however, Bethesda feels its next big thing demands every last bit of energy it can muster, so Skyrim’s a done deal. Next up, something completely unknown and shrouded in mystery but no seriously it’s probably Fallout 4.

(more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Skyrim team to move on to Bethesda’s next major project">Skyrim 610x347



The core group at Bethesda Game Studios announced on the studio's blog today that they will be leaving the jagged, snowy climes of northern Tamriel behind for an unknown location. While minor updates and fixes to Skyrim will continue, the bulk of the development focus is being shifted to the next major release, which they hope will be their "biggest and best work yet."

Skyrim was in pre-production from 2006, well before the release of Fallout 3, so the team at Bethesda has spent almost seven years in its shivering sandbox. "We’ve invested so much of ourselves into Skyrim and will never truly say goodbye to it," the blog reads. "We loved hearing your stories, your in-game triumphs, and your suggestions."

All told, Skyrim received a similar amount of content as past Elder Scrolls games. Bethesda seems pretty set on the "two big expansions, and a handful of smaller stuff" model when it comes to TES. As for what this new project is, the most obvious answer would be Fallout 4. Then again, it could be something completely new—which we haven't seen out of Bethesda proper since the studio as it stands today was founded to work on Morrowind in 2001.

If you still pine for the Nine Holds, the modding community will likely maintain a steady flow of new Skyrim content until the heat death of the universe (or, possibly, TES 6).
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: Achieve That! for Skyrim">Achieve That! for Skyrim



I've never been much of a reader in the Elder Scrolls games. When I come across a stack of books, I'll just drift my cursor along the spines, looking for any that are high value, either to collect and sell or to briefly crack open on the off-chance they provide me with a skill point. Today, however, I'm in the library of the College of Winterhold, opening and examining every single book I can find. This change in reading habits doesn't represent a sudden interest in lore or knowledge. I'm chasing an achievement.

This is due to a mod called Achieve That! which adds over 100 unique achievements to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. More importantly, it adds tangible rewards for achieving them in the form of small bonuses to relevant attributes.

Achievements in games are kind of a mixed bag. Often they seem to result in pointless busywork that can distract players for hours as they chase milestones for the simple reason that the milestones exist. Sometimes the busywork can interesting enough: in Bioshock Infinite, peering into all of the game's telescopes and kinetoscopes for the "Sightseer" achievement will give you a broader view of the city and insight into its history. Other times, chasing achievements can even turn you into a better player: Team Fortress 2's "Hot Potato" achievement, earned for deflecting projectiles with the flamethrower's airblast, will help make you a better Pyro.

The achievements that shipped with Skyrim are neither interesting nor helpful, mainly focusing on the completion of quests or the act of leveling up. They're not even interestingly named. The achievement for getting married, for example, is called "Married." Wow. Achieve That! provides achievements that are relevant to different styles of play, names them well, and rewards the player with relevant bonuses for completing them.

For instance, an achievement called Treasure Hunter challenges you to loot 150 chests, something the average player will probably accomplish in the course of the game anyway, and provides you with a +10 to your carrying weight. The reward feels perfectly relevant to the task: walking around with trousers heavy with loot would probably cause you to eventually grow stronger. Another achievement is called Local, which kicks in after spending a full month in the frosty climate of Skyrim, and gives you a +5 toward your frost resistance. (Spend six months or a year in Skyrim, and gain +5 more for each.) Makes sense: if you spend enough time in the snow, being frozen will eventually lose some if its sting.

At least 1,745 of them were asking for it.

There are general Skyrim-style achievements as well, but they also have appropriate bonuses. Completing 50 quests for A Helping Hand or 100 quests for Famous Hero gives you a small bonuses towards finding better prices in stores, as you become more well known in Skyrim. Discovering 150 world locations nudges up your movement speed by 5%, unlocking 300 locations gives you an additional 5%.

As for you dastardly types, you have not been overlooked. Steal 10 horses and receive a small bonus to your sneak skill. Kill 30 innocent citizens, and get a bonus to your damage. Backstab 500 times and your one-handed damage will increase. Escaping prison 15 times will boost your sneak, lockpicking, and pickpocketing skills as you grow from a lowly jailbird into a career criminal.

Now there's even more of a reason to stuff everything you find in your mouth.

There's also a category for professions, with achievements and bonuses for crafting, enchanting, and  mixing potions and poisons, as well as some random achievements for plucking butterfly wings, hunting rabbits, and even the simple act of eating food. Here's a full list of the achievements and rewards. And hey, should you feel that the attribute bonuses are cheating or making the game too easy, but still want to track your progress and chase milestones, you can always disable the rewards themselves.

Achieve That! seems to be intended for new or lower-level characters, but I'm trying it out with my level 43 Orc, Braul (previous exploits here and here). After installing and enabling the mod, and watching all the achievements I've already gotten scroll by on my screen, I decide to chase one of the book-reading achievements. As I said earlier, I'm not much of a reader, and Braul has only read a handful of books during his 206 days in Skyrim. I head to the library at Winterhold, run by an Orc named Urag gro-Shub, and start nosing around.

After reading some loose books piled around the library, I move on to the bookcases, though I'm dismayed to find that they're all locked, along with the display cases. I hunch over sneakily, hoping to pickpocket the librarian, only to discover that he doesn't have the key. Well, at least I have money, so I buy everything Urag gro-Shub has for sale, read them immediately, and sell them back to him.

Behold: Stealth.

I still haven't reached my milestone, so I start lifting and reading the books on the tables. Naturally, in my haphazard race to absorb as many books as I can, as fast as I can, I accidentally wind up stealing one instead of simply closing it. This doesn't go over well with gro-Shub. Though the act of stealing a book only comes with a 1 septim bounty, it apparently carries a death sentence from the librarian, who immediately begins throwing magic in my face.

Jeez, man. It's not like I took a book into the bathroom with me.

You can probably guess how the rest of my quiet library excursion goes. My follower, a powerful wizard I picked up in Solstheim, isn't fond of nerds shooting ice magic into my nostrils and goes full-on meltdown, summoning a flame atronach and blasting the librarian with fireballs.

Boy. That escalated quickly.

Of course, the librarian is one of those unkillable characters, and while he's quickly beaten into submission, he just catches his breath for a few moments, and then he and my follower start up with the magical bombardment again. Meanwhile, I'm just innocently trying to read whatever books are lying around as their song of ice and fire turns the room into a cloud of debris.

Eventually, gro-Shub flees up some stairs and my follower chases him, allowing me to quietly finish my achievement in peace. The library, meanwhile, has seen better days.

The lesson: NEVER READ.

Installation: It's a snap. Just download and drop the two Achieve That! files into Skyrim's Data folder. HOWEVER! You will need both the latest version of SkyUI and the Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) to make it work. (If you're into Skyrim mods, you've probably got both already working.) For characters over level 20, you'll need to enable the mod from the Mod Configuration Manager (MCM) tab on the main menu. Below level 20, the mod will automatically be enabled when you start, but you can still adjust the settings from the MCM tab.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Skyrim’s ‘Legendary’ update hits steam, smashes level cap with a greatsword">Skyrim legendary



Like a thieving Khajit with a Sneak skill of 100, Bethesda have surreptitiously uploaded Skyrim's Legendary patch onto Steam. As revealed earlier this month, Legendary - or to give it its proper name, Skyrim v1.9 - not only adds a harder difficulty level to the game, it allows skills to be made 'Legendary', resetting them to 15 so they can be levelled up all over again. Why on Tamriel would you want to do this? Well, to increase your character level beyond Skyrim's 'soft' level cap of around 81. More details below.

As announced on Bethesda's blog, and elaborated over on Reddit, to reset a skill you first have to raise it to 100, at which point you can use the Book of Waking Dreams item to revert it to a puny 15. This adds a little dragon symbol under the skill name, but doesn't appear to grant any benefits to your character - other than "effectively the overall level cap", of course. You can reset the same skill over and over again, if you desire. (Thanks, Eurogamer.)

That's in addition to the new Legendary difficulty level, and quite a few bug fixes - my favourites being "companions will equip better weapons and armor if given to them", and "fixed rare instance of couriers who would appear only dressed in a hat". Here's the full, massive list:

General memory and stability improvements
Fixed issue with quest scripts that were not shutting down properly
Companions will equip better weapons and armor if given to them
Fixed rare issue where player is unable to learn the Clear Skies shout during "The Throat of the World"
Fixed rare instance where Alduin would become invincible during "Alduin's Bane"
Fixed a rare issue where player could become stuck in Night Mother's coffin during "Death Incarnate"
Fixed rare issue where protected companions could be killed from poison damage
Fixed rare issue with certain ash piles left from resurrected NPCs not clearing properly
Fixed rare issue with NPCs and creatures respawning improperly after player fast travels
Fixed rare crash when entering Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
Fixed rare crash when entering a player owned home
Random dragon attacks will no longer occur during "Battle for Whiterun"
Fixed a rare crash when attempting to save your game during "Waking Nightmare"
Fixed issue where "Glory of the Undead" would not start properly if player is in combat with Eorlund Gray-Mane
The white phial is no longer consumed if given to a follower
If player marries Aela, the "Totem of Hircine" quest will be available
Unused briar hearts can be dropped after finishing "The White Phial"
Fixed issue with paying off a crime against the Companions that prevented player from getting Companions quests properly
Thieves Guild caches are now properly enabled in the appropriate cities
The Dragon Infusion perk now works properly when taking Esbern's Potion
Cragslane Cave properly resets if player receives a radiant quest to clear it out
Fixed rare issue with bounty quest objectives not properly clearing after completion
Gallus' Encoded Journal is no longer a quest item after completing the Thieves Guild
In "No Stone Unturned" Vex will now accept Unusual Gems if you've collected them all before starting the quest
Vekel the Man now gives rewards for completing "Toying with The Dead"
Fixed rare issue with being unable to turn in stolen items in "The Litany of Larceny"
Fixed issue with followers becoming over-encumbered after being repeatedly rehired
Fixed rare issue with visiting Kynesgrove on horseback not progressing "A Blade in the Dark" properly
Fixed issue with receiving a duplicate radiant quest from a Jarl
Fixed conflict with clearing Driftshade Sanctuary before starting "Trouble in Skyrim"
Fixed issue with using shouts while in jail and having guards unlock the jail cell
Fixed rare issue with quest NPCs not properly moving to quest locations
Fixed issue with NPCs not selling master level spells
Fixed rare issue where player gets control locked outside the Thalmor Embassy at the start of "Diplomatic Immunity"
Fixed rare issue with disappearing containers after upgrades in player owned house
Fixed issue with being erroneously attacked while as a werewolf during "Ill Met By Moonlight"
The Ebony Blade is now only improved by two handed perks
Locked door to Proudspire Manor can now be unlocked by proper key
Fixed issue with merchants not receiving the proper additional gold with the Investor perk
Fixed a rare issue where the player would be unable to learn a word after leaving for several days during "The Way of The Voice"
The Nord Hero Bow can now be improved
The Purity perk no longer requires the Experimenter perk
Fixed rare instance where Lovers Comfort would not be applied properly
If you approach Frostmere Crypt from the north, "The Pale Lady" will start properly
Fixed rare issue where player could be prevented from speaking with Atub to start "The Cursed Tribe"
Fixed rare issue where a dragon could appear in the Mind of a Madman realm and kill the player
Fixed instance where player could get stuck in Japhet's Folly
Fixed rare instances where Arngeir would not teach Worldwind Sprint
Fixed issue with "Ill Met By Moonlight" if Sinding dies before the quest starts
Gharol can now properly train up to level 75
Fixed conflict with visiting The Karthspire before starting "Alduin's Wall"
Reduced the instance of random dragon attacks after fast traveling post main quest
Recruited Blades now have appropriate dialogue while at Sky Haven Temple
Fixed rare issue where an incorrect dungeon could appear as a location during "Totems of Hircine"
Fixed rare instance in "Fetch me that Book" where books found before getting the quest would not be properly recognized
Fixed rare issue with traveling to Thalmor Embassy with companions during "Diplomatic Immunity"
Fixed issues with Matching Set perk not working properly with certain pieces of armor
Fixed issues with Custom Fit perk not working properly with certain pieces of armor
Fixed issue with NPC dying in a bear trap blocking progress in "Time of My Need"
Fixed rare issue with swinging door becoming stuck and blocking an entrance in Volunruud
Imperial Light Armor can now be crafted
Fixed issue with "Vald's Debt" where Vald was not leveled properly
Fixed issue with Vilkas not giving proper greeting after completing "Battle for Whiterun"
Fixed issue with respawning actors that were raised by using the Ritual Stone power
Fixed issue with the Ancient Knowledge perk not calculating properly
The Palace of Kings now has patrolling guards on upper floors
Reduce percentage chance of getting a werewolf loading screen while player is a werewolf
Pantea's flute is no longer a quest item after completing "Pantea's Flute"
Placing an unread Oghma Infinium on a bookshelf in the player's house no longer allows the book to be reused again
Adjusted dialogue priority to improve chances of hearing more combat dialogue from certain NPC enemies
Fixed issue with falling damage on high difficulty levels
Fixed bad collision on certain clutter objects
Fixed rare instance of couriers who would appear only dressed in a hat
Kotaku

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"! The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was one of the best games of 2011. 2011? It's 2013! No matter, Skyrim lives on, thanks in part to its fancy outfits.



The game continues to get downloadable content. Last month, the PS3 and PC versions of Dragonborn were released. It had been released on Xbox 360 last December (the Kotaku review's here).



Skyrim also lives on via cosplay. Here is a round up of some, certainly not all, of the best Skyrim cosplay the internet has to offer. Thankfully, there are no tired arrow-in-the-knee gags!



Have a look and suss out who pulled off the best Skyrim cosplay.



(Top photo: FlorindaZanetti_lede/SanDrawGames/Mech-Infect

)

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Aicosu]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![AndrewDobell]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Artyfakes]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![audrey-vista]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Beebichu]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![BrianFloresPhoto]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Deviant-Kaneda]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Drgibbs]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![emilyrosa]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![FlorindaZanetti]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![KasuzameYuu]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Ken-Eden]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![kethien]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Kim-san]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![la-baronesa]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![LordXanathos]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Mech-Infect]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![NicciFett]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![RocknamLee]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![SanDrawGames]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![vani]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Zerios88]


Kotaku

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"! The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was one of the best games of 2011. 2011? It's 2013! No matter, Skyrim lives on, thanks in part to its fancy outfits.



The game continues to get downloadable content. Last month, the PS3 and PC versions of Dragonborn were released. It had been released on Xbox 360 last December (the Kotaku review's here).



Skyrim also lives on via cosplay. Here is a round up of some, certainly not all, of the best Skyrim cosplay the internet has to offer. Thankfully, there are no tired arrow-in-the-knee gags!



Have a look and suss out who pulled off the best Skyrim cosplay.



(Top photo: FlorindaZanetti_lede/SanDrawGames/Mech-Infect

)

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Aicosu]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![AndrewDobell]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Artyfakes]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![audrey-vista]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Beebichu]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![BrianFloresPhoto]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Deviant-Kaneda]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Drgibbs]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![emilyrosa]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![FlorindaZanetti]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![KasuzameYuu]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Ken-Eden]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![kethien]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Kim-san]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![la-baronesa]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![LordXanathos]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Mech-Infect]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![NicciFett]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![RocknamLee]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![SanDrawGames]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![vani]

This Skyrim Cosplay Will Make You Shout "Fus Ro Dah"![Zerios88]


...