Blog Archives

The Tamriel Beer Garden at PAX East – You’re Invited!

Bethesda's Tamriel Beer Garden Invitation

Invitation to the Tamriel Beer Garden hosted by Bethesda

If you will be lucky enough to attend PAX East this week or are near the city of Boston, check out this sweet invitation to the Tamriel Beer Garden, hosted by the good folks at Bethesda.

The Tamriel Beer Garden will take place on Saturday night, March 23rd, at the Castle Meeting Space in downtown Boston, from 6PM to 11PM; admission is on a first come, first served basis.

According to the BethBlog:

We encourage fans of The Elder Scrolls to gather for themed food and drinks, music, merchants, cool giveaways, and more. And if you didn’t get your PAX tickets before the event sold out, the event will be your first chance to play The Elder Scrolls Online.

This sounds like an amazing event to check out for fans of the Elder Scrolls Series – wish we could attend.


Postcard from Skyrim – The Glare of the Dragon (Wallpaper)

Hey there!  Sorry for not being in touch for a while, but we’ve been busy forging our way through the Rift, slaying ice trolls, frost dragons, you know the drill.  Plus our 4G connection is cr@p in there with all those durn mountains.

In any case, we were thinking of you when we saw this interesting vista  – enjoy.

skyrim wallpaper dragon's glare

Where the h@ll did I put my Oakleys?

Good Morning: Sunrise in Skyrim Wallpaper

Skyrim Sunrise

Nice morning for some fishing.

Click the pic for the wallpaper.  Hope it brightens your day.

Is Far Cry 3 Really “Skyrim with Guns?” – Our Impressions So Far

Far Cry 3 Screenshot

Sunscreen? Check. Flip-flops? Check. Assault rifle? Check.

Far Cry 3 is like Skyrim with Guns!” has been an oft-repeated quote even prior to this month’s release of Ubisoft’s new open-world, sandbox first person shooter (FPS).  Here’s our brief take on that claim and some of our impressions of Far Cry 3 thus far.

First off, Far Cry 3 (on the PC) is gorgeous.  The island archipelago wherein the story of Far Cry 3 takes place is huge, incredibly detailed, and graphically stunning.  In this sense, the visuals of Far Cry 3 remind us of the immersive graphics of a modded version of Skyrim with visual settings maxed.  As you run about the islands’ hills, rain forests, beaches, and cliffs in first person, you truly feel transported to the tropical world of Far Cry 3.  If you are short on funds for a trip to Fiji or Tahiti this year, playing Far Cry 3 on a solid gaming PC may be the next best thing.

Far Cry 3 Screenshot 2

Grab me another mai-tai when you get a chance, would ya?

We also found some similarity between the sense of wonder and exploration conveyed by the respective huge maps and numerous locales of Far Cry 3 and Skyrim.  It was this sense of untapped opportunity to explore, especially early in the game, that most gave us the sense that Far Cry 3 is “Skyrim with guns.”  Of course, not unlike Skyrim or the Fallout games, your perception of the hugeness of the world of Far Cry 3 diminishes as you do check-off discoveries through the course of the game.  But it’s that early feeling of unending possibilities in Far Cry 3 that most reminds us of Skyrim.

Crafting in Far Cry 3, on the other hand, does not remind us of Skyrim at all, and instead feels somewhat unnecessary and somewhat tacked-on.  Crafting in Skyrim conveys that aforementioned dynamic of “unlimited possibilities” for much longer than the crafting dynamic in Far Cry 3.  For example, in Far Cry 3 you hunt and skin animals to create and upgrade your gear: backpack, wallet, ammo pouch etc., but you can only create and upgrade each item once, and there is no opportunity to sell previously created and no longer needed items.  In Far Cry 3 the crafting dynamic seems completely independent of the in-game economy.  Of course in Skyrim you can play the game as an alchemist who never does anything but hunt for ingredients, create potions, & sell them in the market if you so choose.  In Far Cry 3, once you’ve hunted and crafted the gear you need to carry enough weapons, ammo, and cash, you may as well stop hunting and crafting since loot and related cash proceeds will cover any needs you have far better than crafting.

Far Cry 3 also implements a basic skill tree and points dynamic.  This falls far short of games like Skyrim, however, offering little divergence or variety in the paths the player can assign points to.  In fact, we have largely ignored the skill tree and points during our latest play-through, as they do not seem to add much to the basic FPS dynamics or our enjoyment of the game.

We love the Fallout games (still playing Fallout New Vegas) and feel that they (obviously, since they are all Bethesda games)  better fit the bill of “Skyrim with guns” in large part due to the wonky, somewhat awkward combat dynamics shared by all the Bethesda games.  Far Cry 3, on the other hand, does do an excellent job of incorporating tight and fluid FPS mechanics into its open-world sandbox.  In our opinion, Ubisoft has done an admirable job of joining the fluid FPS combat of a CoD or Battlefield type game into the sprawling open-world map of a Bethesda type game.

So is Far Cry 3Skyrim with guns?”  Not quite, in our opinion, as it lacks the depth of Skyrim on many levels including crafting, player inventory, storage, homes, skill-tree, etc.  That said, however, Ubisoft deserves kudos, in our opinion, for doing an admirable job of bringing the sense of unlimited sandbox possibilities offered by games like Skyrim to the genre of the FPS, perhaps better than it’s ever been done before.  In some ways, Far Cry 3 could be better described as a “tropical island Grand Theft Auto in the first person with C0D-style gunplay.”  But that’s another debate for another time.  What’s your experience with Far Cry 3 been like so far?

Far Cry 3 Screenshot 3

Enjoy this sweet roll, mother****.

Some Gorgeous Skyrim Cosplay to Start Your Week

Katsucon Skyrim-1 courtesy of LJinto

‘Nuff. Said.

Katsucon Skyrim-3

Katsucon Skyrim-4


Please check out more of LJinto’s great cosplay work here.

Dragonborn DLC for Skyrim Coming December 4th

Bethesda has just released its first trailer video for the new DLC/expansion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, entitled Dragonborn.

Skyrim fans first discovered clues to this new DLC when Bethesda released its 1.8 update for Skyrim in October; we previously reported on these clues here.

A definitive clue was released by Bethesda in the form of a tweet last Friday.

According to Bethesda’s post today, Dragonborn will be available on Tuesday, December 4th, on XboxLive for 1600 Microsoft Points.  No word yet on when the PC version of Dragonborn will be available.

PS3 owners?  Sadly, at this point, there really does not seem to be any sense in asking or wondering.

Bethesda Game Studios' Tweet re Dragonborn DLC for Skyrim

Skyrim Devs’ Tweet Teases Upcoming DLC


Bethesda Game Studios, developer of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, recently tweeted out a new tease of their rumored, upcoming DLC for Skyrim.

In addition to the picture above, the tweet promises a full trailer on Monday, November 5th.

The rumored DLC is expected to be called “Dragonborn,” based on clues found in the recently released 1.8 update for Skyrim; we previously reported on these clues here.

The definitive discussion of all the related clues and the rumored DLC can be found here in the Bethsoft Forums.

It’s no secret that we’ve been playing an unhealthy amount of Skyrim recently, especially in light of all the other new games available to play (Dishonored, MOH: Warfighter, Borderlands 2 etc.); this new teaser does not bode well for our escape from Tamriel any time soon.

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.


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.


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.

Amazing Skyrim Cosplay by Ken Eden

Night to end - Skyrim Daedric

This cosplay portraying a Daedric warrior and Aela the Huntress is just incredible.  Really, the quality of the costumes, modeling, & photography speaks for itself.

We really admire the work of Ken Eden, and we encourage you to check out his work on his Flickr page here.

Escalate Conflict Daedric

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