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Check out this sweet screenshot of my hunter character chillin’ next to a waterfall (with a view of Whiterun) as he takes a brief rest from the arduous journey from Riverwood to Whiterun.
This “rest stop” is one of several new locations added to the world of Skyrim by talented modder countercruel, in his mod “Sincar Barrens – A Resting Place.” This, and several other of countercruel’s gorgeous mods are available for download at Skyrim Nexus.
Countercruel’s Sincar Barrens features:
- A wide selection of resting places spread out across Skyrim
- Elder Scrolls lore-friendly design and aesthetic
- Out-of-the-way locations for improved player immersion
- “Great for relaxing and reading a book or two” per countercruel
- Random encounter system around the seating areas
- “Compatible with most mods including ‘Lanterns of Skyrim’” according to countercruel
We can confirm that thus far we have not run into any conflicts or bugs related to installing Sincar Barrens. If you really appreciate tuning the already lovely aesthetic experience that is Skyrim, you will enjoy the color and life that Sincar Barrens – A Resting Place will bring to your world of Skyrim.
As the founder the founder of OGGeeks levels-up again today, with another year down, we’re wondering when the 2.0 patch increasing the IRL level cap for humans will be released. C’mon über-nerd science homies, let’s get to it!
Having spent the last few days “testing” out our new gaming rig with a HEAVILY modded version of Skyrim, and having been astounded by the ingenuity of the modding community, we’d be happy if we could just have our consciousness transferred to Tamriel when we finally hit the IRL level cap for humans.
What we’re really trying to say is that modded Lydia is hot… really HOT. And that Skyrim should never be played on a console. Oh, and happy birthday, boss!
As promised, we’re back with our initial impressions of Hearthfire, the new add-on for Skyrim released on Xbox LIVE yesterday. While we’re not blown away by our initial experience with Hearthfire, we can see how it should appeal to console players who do not have ready access to Skyrim mods, assuming those players do not mind the $5 cost of the add-on.
When we first fired up Skyrim after downloading Hearthfire, we didn’t notice anything immediately that indicated that Hearthfire was active, other than an add-on content text notice while the game was first loading. We fast traveled to Whiterun to see if anything was different at Breezehome, our original toon housing. Upon arriving in Whiterun, the courier showed up with a message from Proventus Avenicci, steward to the Jarl of Whiterun, informing the player that a child’s bedroom is now an option that can be purchased for player housing. This was the first indication of Hearthfire’s new adoption system at work.
We expected an invite to purchase land to arrive with the courier, but that did not happen in our case. Having seen screenshots of a Hearthfire home in construction in the marshes of Hjaalmarch, we decided to fast travel to Morthal to see if land could be purchased from Jarl Ravencrone. Sure enough, when we spoke to her steward Alsfur, a new dialogue option appeared: an option to purchase land in the marshes north of Morthal. We dropped 5000 gold on him, gathered up the deed to our land, and headed north with Lydia to a spot on the map marked “Windstad Manor.”
Arriving at the site of our new home in the marshes, we were greeted by a large, flat piece of land with a pile of lumber, drafting table, workbench, and anvil set to one side. We also noticed a chest next to the lumber pile, containing a bunch of raw materials such as corundum ore, iron, stone, etc.
Next, we clicked on the drafting table and were offered the option to create the plans for a small house. This was the only option, and the next several steps seemed to be a tutorial mode of sorts for Hearthfire. Next, we moved to the adjacent carpenter’s workbench and were given the option to create a foundation for the small house. As in the other Skyrim crafting systems, you need the requisite materials in your possession prior to crafting any construction item, from nails to hinges to foundations to roofs. Looking to the chest we found on-site, we were able to move through the early phases of building our small house until we ran out of the initial materials.
Stepping back, we were able to gaze upon the fruits of our virtual labor and saw a small cottage, with no front door, no furnishings, nothing inside. We immediately realized that we were going to have to quarry a sh!t-ton of stone and ore, and run a gazzillion trees through the sawmill to make this really happen. Needless to say, with that realization, Lydia and our ‘toon fast traveled back to Breezehome for some well deserved ale and sweetrolls, and called it a night.
Our initial thought is that if you enjoyed farming trees and working the sawmill for gold in the early game, or really enjoy roaming Skyrim for various flowers and butterfly wings to craft your potions, you’ll have the patience required for Hearthfire to really shine. We actually relish the idea of sitting down one long rainy weekend and really hitting the whole rock-quarrying, tree-cutting, house-building thing hard, we just didn’t have the patience or mindset for it last night.
Hearthfire should also really appeal to console players with a lack of access to the PC modding community. PC players have long been able to hone their Skyrim experience with user-created mods, especially when it comes to cool, elaborate player housing. Hearthfire provides console players the ability to create some awesomely unique home for their characters at long last. And if you are a compulsive gatherer-crafter, this will be the best 400 Microsoft Points you ever spend.
We will be back with our thoughts on the adoption system once we give it a go. First, our ‘toon and Lydia need to find the right Argonian kid to raise in our doorless cottage on the swamps of Hjaalmarch.
The good folks at the BethBlog announced this morning that the latest Skyrim DLC, Hearthfire, will be released for the Xbox 360 on September 4th. Holy homecoming, that’s in just a week! Xbox 360 players will be able to download Hearthfire from XBox LIVE for 400 Microsoft Points.
According to BethBlog, Hearthfire will provide the player an opportunity to truly put down stakes in the realm of Tamriel, including land-purchases, home-building, and even an expansion of the Skyrim marriage system to allow for the adoption of Tamrelian kids:
With Skyrim’s newest game add-on, Hearthfire, you can purchase land and build your own home from the ground up – from a simple one-room cottage to a sprawling compound complete with an armory, alchemy laboratory, stable, garden, and more. Use all-new tools like the drafting table and carpenter’s workbench to transform quarried stone, clay, and sawn logs into structures and furnishings. Even transform your house into a home by adopting children.
For more information, check out this sweet reveal trailer posted on YouTube by BethBlog:
This cheeky video, posted by YouTube user XstackX, is a simulated sweet trip down memory lane for the OG Geeks, as this is TOTALLY the video we would have made during our formative years of gaming.
Oh, and it also appears to be a pretty clever bit of guerrilla marketing by our good friends over at Gearbox for their soon-t0-be-released Borderlands 2. Cheeky bastards. 😉
This inspires us to post that sweet Zork for Commodore64 unboxing video we made back in 1980. Stay tuned for that grainy goodness!
Earlier, we posted about reports that the cloud gaming service OnLive was facing a restructuring and laying off its current employees.
OnLive has now responded to the rumors circling the interwebs this morning, confirming that 1) the company has been acquired, 2) the OnLive services and partnerships will proceed as normal, and 3) the company will be hiring some (“high percentage”) of the employees previously employed by OnLive, Inc.
Here’s the related press release from OnLive, Inc.:
“We can now confirm that the assets of OnLive, Inc. have been acquired into a newly-formed company and is backed by substantial funding, and which will continue to operate the OnLive Game and Desktop services, as well as support all of OnLive’s apps and devices, as well as game, productivity and enterprise partnerships. The new company is hiring a large percentage of OnLive, Inc.’s staff across all departments and plans to continue to hire substantially more people, including additional OnLive employees. All previously announced products and services, including those in the works, will continue and there is no expected interruption of any OnLive services.
We apologize that we were unable to comment on this transaction until it completed, and were limited to reporting on news related to OnLive’s businesses. Now that the transaction is complete, we are able to make this statement.”
We’re glad to hear that the innovative OnLive service will continue to grow with new funding, and we hope the good folks formerly employed by OnLive, Inc. are quickly rehired by the new company.
Multiple gaming news sources have just reported that the hacker group Anonymous has claimed that they have have hacked the PlayStation Network… Again.
A tweet appeared on the AnonNews twitter feed last night claiming: “@Sony hacked. @PlayStation Network Pwned…” The poster goes on to claim that Anonymous has stolen 50Gb of PSN user information. The tweet also goes on to link to a document that is claimed to have been stolen from PSN. Some interweb gumshoes have already pointed out that this document appears to be the same document previously claimed hacked by Anon back in March.
The story is developing rapidly, so we’ll keep you posted as we learn more.
UPDATE – GameSpot.com is reporting that Sony’s biz-dev staff member Shane Bettenhausen has tweeted that Anonymous’ claim of a PSN breach is “totally fake.”
Interestingly enough, both the tweeted claim from Anonymous and the tweeted response from Bettenhausen have been removed from Twitter.
Also, we understand that Sony still has not officially commented on the alleged breach.
FURTHER UPDATE – it is now being reported by IGN and Game Informer that they have received word from Sony that the claim of a breach of security in the PlayStation Network today is “completely false.”
Valve’s Brian Levinthal announced via the Playstation.blog that PS3 owners will be able to purchase a PS3 optimized version of Counter-Strike, the global team multiplayer classic, via PSN on August 21, 2012.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for PS3 will feature improved visuals, new weapons, and a matchmaking system for PSN players, according to Levinthal. The new PS3 version of CS will also feature control input support for PlayStation Move, PlayStation Move Sharpshooter, and, interestingly, keyboard-and-mouse.
CS: Global Offensive will include two new game modes, “Arms Race” and “Demolition” that will feature new maps and a “gun progression”dynamic.
We’re looking forward to picking up the new Counter-Strike from PSN on August 21st to see if our OG PC CS skills translate to mouse-and-keyboard on the Ps3!
Check out IGN Senior Editor Jane Douglas’ great interview with Gearbox Software Czar Randy Pritchford.
Pritchford gives the lowdown on the new massive scale, features, and characters & NPC’s of BL2 and teases us with sweet new footage of the gun & loot fest, expected in September. We love how he describes playing the original Borderlands as a hobby… that’s exactly how we looked at the first game.
We’re happy to say that we’ve long since pre-ordered our Ultimate Vault Hunters Edition (featuring an honest to sh!t replica loot chest!!!)… holy cr@p we can’t wait for this one!