Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Elder Scrolls Online is Online… Sort Of

Bethesda has announced, via the BethBlog, the launch of ElderScrollsOnline.com, the official community website of The Elder Scrolls Online MMO game.

BethBlog says the site will feature game development updates, artwork, screenshots, a developers diary, and more.

ElderScrollsOnline.com looks good and already features some nice concept art & development related content; we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next from the TESO development team.

ElderScrollsOnline.com official website

Rumors of Mass Zynga Layoffs Today- UPDATE

UPDATE – unfortunately, Gamasutra has confirmed that the rumors of employee layoffs at Zynga circulating this AM are in fact true.  Gamasutra is reporting that over 100 employees have lost their jobs, many from the Austin studio, while the entire Boston studio has been closed.  The announcement of the layoffs was made during the Apple product launch event this morning; many commentators doubt the timing is any coincidence as Zynga has been struggling the rapid decline of its stock value over that last several weeks.

Please check out all the details over at Gamasutra.com.

BREAKING – the Twittersphere is buzzing with rumors unrelated to the new iPad mini this AM: Gamasutra is tweeting about rumors of massive employee layoffs at Zynga’s Austin & Boston offices. All of this is unconfirmed at this point, so we’ll follow along and keep you posted.

Hopefully these are nothing more than rumors – we wish Zynga’s employees the best of luck and really hope no one is losing their job.

The Elder Scrolls Online – Good News? Check out Massively’s Hands-On

If you’re a fan of The Elder Scrolls games and the world of Tamriel, and especially if you’ve had concerns about what Bethesda’s announcement of The Elder Scrolls Online MMO would mean for the series, you need to check out this great article by Matt Daniel at Massively by Joystiq.  Matt details his hands-on experiences with TESO thus far, and what he says give us great hope as fans of The Elder Scrolls game series.

We were particularly excited/relieved to hear what Matt had to say about the art-style of the online world of Tamriel:

Let me first answer the question on everybody’s mind: Does it feel like an Elder Scrolls game? It does, mostly. The game’s art team has done a fantastic job of recreating the kind of beautiful scenic vistas that players have come to expect from the series, and it’s clear that much attention was paid to keeping the world consistent with previous games.

We’re really pleased to see this illustrated in the screenshots posted by Matt in his article.

The Elder Scrolls Online Screenshot from Massively by Joystiq

Looking more like Skyrim than WoW.

OGG Plays – Guild Wars 2: Brisban Wildlands Viewpoint

Just a quick glimpse of the Brisban Wildlands Viewpoint from the gorgeous game Guild Wars 2.

We highly recommend giving GW2 a shot, especially if you are new to MMO’s, or are jaded by the other MMO’s out there.  The world is stunningly beautiful, the gameplay is dynamic and fun, and the online community is frankly, shockingly, NICE and pleasant.  I’ve personally found that the vast majority of GW2 players are actively trying to help each other out in all aspects of the game; this may be the single most impressive aspect of GW2, IMHO.

 

OGG Plays – Torchlight 2: Breaking the Siege

It’s mini-gunbot versus maxi-autoturret when Engineer Oggee takes on the SiegeMaster & his siege machines in the Breaking the Siege quest of Torchlight 2… who wins?

 

Borderlands 2 DLC: Captain Scarlett & Her Pirates Booty Trailer

Check out the trailer for Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty, the first campaign add-on for Borderlands 2. This add-on was released today, October 16th for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

PC version is available for download at the Steam Store (click the picture below to link to Steam).

Thanks for sharing the trailer, Gearbox!

Borderlands 2 DLC Captain Scarlett by Gearbox Software available at Steam

OGG Plays – Borderlands 2: Moxxxi’s Slots

In this episode of OGG Plays, our commando toon Axton takes a stroll through the notorious Moxxxi’s new bar in Borderlands 2.

Axton gives you a quick demo of the new slot machine mini-game; has anyone won any good [read: unique] guns from these yet?
We’re wondering if these could be a good  farming source for unique guns in high level, late game play – like the vendors in original BL.  We used a regular farming run of the vending machines in Borderlands 1 to score all sorts of sweet uniques.

Oh yah, this video also features the infamous Moxxxi & her naughty bar dance.

Borderlands 2 from Steam Store

Skyrim DLC Speculation – Dragonborn?

This AM, several gaming news outlets are reporting rumors of an upcoming downloadable expansion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, possibly entitled “Dragonborn.”

We looked into the basis for the rumors and can confirm the following:

Yesterday, a user on the Bethsoft forums named Mardoxx wrote a post entitled “Time for some spoilers form[sic] the latest beta” that stated:

Next DLC will be called Dragonborn. It is set in Solstheim. Main locations are Raven Rock, Miraak Temple, Castle Karstaag and Telvanni Tower. You will might be able to ride dragons. Also, new armor types, possibly horse (?) Bomemold, Chitin, Nordic and Stalhrim.

PS3 DLC will come soon and so will mounted spell casting.

(*from)

This could, of cause, be an elaborate troll on Bethesda’s part! The naming in Translate_*.txt is correct though, http://tsdr.uspto.go…pe=statusSearch

Mardoxx also posted a link to the following image:

Skyrim Dragonborn DLC user interface compass

According to Mardoxx, this is the user interface quest compass from the unreleased DLC represents:

Clockwise from top, Telvanni Tower, To Solstheim, Raven Rock, Castle Karstaag, Standing Stones, To Skyrim, Miraak Temple.
Bottom is quest header for Dragonborn quests

It looks Mardoxx has done some down & dirty mining into the datafiles included in the new Skyrim 1.8 Update Beta, announced yesterday.  Check out the whole thread on the Bethsoft forums for all of the intriguing nuggets dug up by Mardoxx.

We’ve been playing a sh!t-TON of modded-Skyrim on our new gaming PC, so this speculation about a new Skyrim expansion has us super excited.  We’re really intrigued by Mardoxx’s suggestions that this will be a full-blown expansion DLC as opposed to the relatively pinner-sized content included in the recent Hearthfire DLC.

Holy sh!t – does this mean we’ll be able to ride dragons with our modded, skimpy-armored Lydia?  Our Frank Frazetta-fueled childhood fantasies will finally be complete.  Thank you, Mardoxx for sharing your exciting finds with other fans of Skyrim.

 

UK’s Shard is Dishonored

UK Shard Dishonored Steampunk

The UK”s Daily Record is reporting that the Shard, one of the UK’s most prominent landmarks, has been given a (virtual) steam-whaler face-lift to mark the UK release of Bethesda’s new stealth-action hit Dishonored.

According to the Daily Record:

During the game’s development, Dishonored’s   artistic developers visited each city extensively to study the key aspects to help them create a world that merged our two capitals, twisted iconic landmarks and re-imagined our rich heritage to produce an alternative look on how these cities may have been if history had taken another route.

Personally think that the Shard, like most things, looks better with a steampunk edge.

Dishonored is available for the PC for immediate download at the Steam Store.

Skyrim 1.8 Update Beta Available on Steam

Skyrim Frost Troll Fight

Bethblog has announced that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 1.8 Update Beta is now available for download on Steam.

According to Bethblog, the Skyrim 1.8 Update includes:

  • General memory and stability improvements
  • Fixed rare crash when using vampiric grip
  • Fixed issue where Arnleif and Sons Trading Company could become permanently locked
  • Fixed issue related to duplicate NPCs
  • Fixed rare issue where exterior door would not open properly

Of course, the Skyrim 1.8 Update is only available for PC on Steam for the time being.  Bethblog says that console owners should stay tuned for an announcement about availability of the Skyrim 1.8 Update for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.  PS3 owners probably shouldn’t get their hopes up too soon, IMHO.

Here are Bethblog’s instructions for participating in the Skyrim 1.8 Update if you are a PC gamer:

If you’d like to download the 1.8 Beta Update on Steam, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Log into Steam
  2. Click on Steam in the upper menu
  3. Select Settings
  4. Under the Account tab, go to the Beta Participation section and select Change.
  5. A drop down menu will appear. Select Skyrim Beta.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Steam will now restart. After Steam restarts, Skyrim will 6be updated to the Beta version currently available.

If you opt into the Beta, be sure to back up your saved games or simply be careful not to overwrite your existing saves. If you decide to opt out of the beta program, your old saves will still work with the current release of Skyrim on Steam (v 1.7).

If you decide you don’t want to run the Beta anymore, redo steps 1 – 4. At the drop down, select NONE – Opt out of all beta programs. Let Steam restart, and Skyrim will automatically update itself back to the latest released version.

There are already comments on Bethblog’s page disparaging the update as too little, too late, especially for PS3 players.  Many of the comments repeat the typical (and justified) criticism of Skyrim for its many bugs, some major, some minor.  That said, we personally tend to cut Bethesda a LOT of slack on these issues as 1) the Elder Scrolls & Fallout games are freakin’ brilliant and obsessively fun, and 2) Bethesda’s refreshing support for the modding community which has allowed for not only the repair of the aforementioned bugs, but a massive expansion of the Elder Scrolls & Fallout worlds by enterprising gamers and fans of TESV and Bethesda.

Check out the update and please let us know what you think.

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