Welcome to the Nukapedia News Digest... In your edition this week.
From the Administrative Enclave
- The Cancelled games portal steams closer to completion... You can now see the rotating slider effect, it should launch in the next few weeks.
- We're talking about sister wikis and reviewing the old as well as determining criteria for new.
- We're discussing the policy on locking pages here
- Unless a storm of no votes arrives in the next few hours, The Seperate Bug policy is about to pass.
- And all 3 of GarouxBloodline's features have passed (multi-image infobox, JunkRadio and changes to the Administrators Discussion Board).
New User Network Graduation
If you're looking to learn more about the wiki, or editing, why not join up?
100 Weeks, 100 lucky edits
Special shout out to Jspoel, who in the 100 weeks since the lucky 1,000 edit achievement has been active has hit the achievement 100 times. Might be time for us to take Jspoel to the Casino
BattleCry Studios, a Bethesda sister studio is working on some free to play online game, and is now recruiting:
- Environmental Artist
- Senior/Lead Environmental Artist
- VFX Artist
- Character Artist
- Senior Technical Designer
- Senior Systems Designer
- Systems Designer
- Associate Multiplayer Level Designer
- Tools Engineer
- Gameplay Engineer
- Senior Server Database Engineer
- Senior Server Engineer
- Senior Network and Systems Administrator
- Senior Concept Artist
- Monetization/Systems Designer
- Platform Lead
All based in Austin, Texas. Good luck if it sounds like a job for you.
Chris Avellone talks to Aggrogamer
Aggrogamer talked to Mr Chris Avellone… here's a few snips, but I recommend reading the whole thing.
- The other renaissance crept up on Interplay, and it happened suddenly — Fallout had been in development for a number of years under the guidance of Tim Cain (who's now with us at Obsidian, working on our Project: Eternity Kickstarter). Originally, it was intended to use GURPS, and then it didn't. There was still all the other content outside of GURPS that was available to be used for the game once the GURPS license was no longer available, however, and that ended up playing out in a big way. All of the design principles the title had based on character builds and archetypes, creativity, the open-world exploration… no one at Interplay was sure if the title would take off, and when it did, it immediately became one of Interplay's strongest franchises. It also changed the way I thought about RPG design in so many ways, it's hard to list them all, but I'll try — dialogue options based on stats (including stupid options), the idea of a solely pacifistic talking path for Speech characters, the usage of skills in the environment, the idea of Karma and the use/attachment of companions (I still hold Dogmeat up to this day as one of the best examples of companions in a computer game, ever). There was so much creativity and smarts to it that most games today struggle to keep pace with.
- "Independence" is the best answer. We were still local, we knew the kinds of games we wanted to do, and we wanted a chance to prove it. I doubt we all could have gotten jobs at BioWare (if any of us could've), and we'd always imagined Black Isle as a separate entity in any event — Feargus worked very hard to shield us from all the troubles taking place there in the last few years with Titus, although he was powerless to prevent what happened with Baldur's Gate 3 and he departed several months before Van Buren (Fallout 3) got canceled as well.
- We didn't ask anyone to join us, they simply volunteered — and a lot of them volunteered. Speaking for myself, the moment Feargus walked into my office and said he had resigned, my response was "when do I quit?" That was true for a lot of people — Feargus, much like Fargo, had earned a lot of respect over the years, and the current company climate wasn't such that people were willing to remain without being able to work for those same bosses.
- That wasn't true of everyone. Other folks, like Josh Sawyer, stayed on at Interplay to make a go of it and then went on to other studios (Midway, Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows), and other folks did require some persuading and then eventually left for other studios (like Blizzard). Still, a lot of the core Black Isle folks remained, and a lot of new people from other studios joined us. They were able to share the things they'd learned that worked well at other companies, so Obsidian became quite a melting pot over the years.
Torment has now gone over the amount raised by Wasteland 2; if you include the Kickstarter and the direct paypal contributions, its now over $3 million US dollars, with 13 days to go.
Mark Morgan as you'll remember is doing the music, Kotaku has a sampling of one of his tracks for the game
- However, the big news is at 3.5 Million, Chris Avellone will join the team. Come on, give em your money!
The Elder Scrolls: Online
Thanks to Old World Relics for these preview videos
The Excapist plays TES:O
Some comments here from the escapist on The Elder scrolls online….
- When I first saw The Elder Scrolls Online at E3 last year, to say I was dubious would be extremely charitable. The presentation was short - a bit of handwaving, some appropriately soaring music, and then "Hey, how about that Dishonored?" - but the little I saw looked like Ye Olde MMO(e) that had been given a quick lick of Elder Scrolls paint. I left that presentation with my eyebrow quirked at exactly the right angle to impart how little I was impressed, and it was with that eyebrow still firmly arched I sat down to play the game last week. Four hours had been slotted in the schedule for the play session, which I estimated to be about three and a half too many.
- The story of The Elder Scrolls Online, explained to us by Game Director Matt Firor and Creative Director Paul Sage, sounded Scrollsy enough. Daedric Prince Molag Bal has killed you and stolen your soul, and your mission throughout the game is to try and get it back. Well, and to figure out why he took it in the first place, though really, he's Molag Bal, he just does that sort of thing. Our play session would start in one of the game's three starting areas: The Daggerfall Covenant, on the sandy beaches of Stros M'Kai. You wake up to discover that Captain Kaleen saved your sorry life by fishing you out of the ocean after Molag Bal shoved you through the nearest portal. In return, perhaps you could help her with a little problem she's having. She's got this great heist planned but finds herself short on manpower, and if you could just recruit an extra helping hand or three, she'd cut you in on a share of the loot.
- And just like that, I forgot I was playing an MMO.
- My point is that there's a lot of distractions in Elder Scrolls Online, but at no point do you feel like you're being forced in any one direction. The main quest is there, patiently waiting for you to give a damn about it, but you'll find plenty to do just by walking around. There's also a good reason for doing it; exploring will not only help you find quests (which provide experience and loot) but can also help you locate resources for crafting, which is an important aspect of the game. There are five unique craft professions: Provisioner, Weaponsmith, Armorsmith, Alchemist, and Enchanting. They all pretty much work the same way, with you combining a primary and secondary ingredient to make something. You can stop there, or you can add up to three "addititves" which can dramatically change the quality of whatever it is you're making. Though you'll always get something just by putting together appropriate primary and secondary components, progress has more to do with experimentation than with grinding by making the same tea a hundred times. You can choose to master one of the crafting styles, or get pretty good in all of them.
Speaking for myself, this sounds like a great game for people who don't really like MMOs…
IGN says "Might just be Awesome"
- Just to get it off my chest, let me count the ways in which Elder Scrolls Online isn't like Skyrim, Oblivion, or Morrowind – the series’ most recent (and famous) entries. Merchants don't have limited supplies of money, and you don't trudge along as though you're carrying the world once your bags are filled. You can't attack friendly NPCs, and the folks you can kill don't drop the exact items they were wearing. Elder Scrolls Online lets you rummage through most crates and collect items such as skill books, but you can't physically pick them up and drop them at your leisure. Role-play lovers, despair: you can't sit in chairs. Most heartbreaking of all, you can't revisit low level zones and still find a challenge even at the highest levels. That's already a pretty hefty grab bag of caveats that may turn off a chunk of the Elder Scrolls fanbase, but it's a testament to the quality of the work that ZeniMax Online has done here that I felt as though I was playing a genuine Elder Scrolls release nevertheless.
- They certainly get the ambiance right, beginning with my arrival on the parched island of Stros M'Kai via a ship in the vein of Morrowind, as well as in the countless NPCs I encountered with fully voiced choice-based dialogue options. Moments of beauty were many, particularly when I made my way to the leafy orcish island of Betnikh around level 5. The serene interface recalls the immersive simplicity of Oblivion's display of health, magicka, and stamina, although number-conscious MMO veterans can activate a more cluttered interface by clicking the Alt button. What little I saw of crafting – cooking, specifically – involved a system of experimentation similar to that found in Skyrim. The questing, too, went far beyond throwaway text to justify killing the pirates of Dwemer I encountered; at times it affected the development of my own story progression. In one, for instance, I helped rescue a thief named Jakarn from prison and then recapture his stolen gem, only to find a grumpy orc named Moglurkal waiting outside the dungeon for us and demanding the return of the jewel. In contrast to other MMORPGs, I had the option to lie about having the jewel, and I took it. Had I not, I wouldn't have seen Jakarn popping in to help me and give me new quests on Betnikh.
- My four or so hours of hands-on gameplay in ESO brimmed with moments like these, and the choices felt much more meaningful than the simple light/dark options of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Even better, you don't have to worry about your punky leveling buddy forcing story decisions on you that you don't want to make. I saw this most prominently when a colleague I was grouped with made different decisions as to how to handle a poisoned ship captain; I gave her an antidote and let her live, she let her die. But even though we were grouped and in the same room, I saw events unfold differently, and later, the captain came to my aid when I needed her help. I'm looking forward to seeing how it unfolds throughout the whole game, as I found that ESO offered a rewarding single player storyline that never comes close to ditching social elements so vital to MMOs. In fact, with open mob tagging, shared servers, and spell combos that require two or more players, it promotes it.
- The combat feels very much like what you'd find in an Elder Scrolls game; the bad news (particularly for melee-oriented players) there is that means it's subject to the series' signature stiff animations. But here's the thing – I felt as though I was actually hitting stuff. Playing with a sword and shield, I reveled in the familiarity of using my left mouse button to both block and bash for spell interrupts, and immediately found myself holding down the right mouse button for power attacks and merely clicking it for lighter ones. It's fun, but I was dismayed to learn that I couldn't play Elder Scrolls Online as I usually play Skyrim – specifically, as a stealthy archer who whips out either daggers or swords in close quarters. I could use the bow (although the arrow's trajectory looked more like I was tossing it than firing it), I could sneak by pressing Control (although stealth bonuses, I'm told, won't unlock until I've leveled medium armor a ways), but I still found myself frustrated when I couldn't whip out my sword when my quarry finally reached me. For that, I was told, I'd have to wait until level 15 when weapon swapping unlocks.
- It's too early to make judgments, but even in its current form, I could see myself logging into ESO regularly to satisfy my personal craving for more Elder Scrolls content. I'm also happy to see that the design so far seems focused on exploration and questing rather than grinds. There are no raids, after all – "That's not Elder Scrolls," says Game Director Matt Firor – but there are four-man dungeons and three-faction open PvP with sieges in the beleaguered province of Cyrodiil. From the live dungeon run I saw, they play with a dynamism akin to what you find in Guild Wars 2 but with a welcome degree of control, springing Elder Scrolls Online's embrace of the so-called trinity of heals, DPS, and tanks. ”Dark Anchors” – a dynamic grouping component – also open from Molag Bal's plane of Oblivion, but in all honesty, they bore such a striking similarity in both concept and appearance to Rift's titular rifts such that I worry they'll get old fast.
Destructiod talks… First Person
Destructiod talk about first person in TES:O….
- Fans were pretty upset after learning that the first person mode in The Elder Scrolls Online, a feature long time players have been rooting for, would be extremely limited. After all, it's kind of expected with this franchise.
- I was able to test out the fairly underwhelming first person mode at a preview event last week, which as previously reported, didn't feature arms, weapons, or full functionality. After asking a few developers about this detriment to the game, noting that including this feature would sell the game to a much larger audience, they responded with a smile, "we have something to show you later."
- What they showed me was in-game footage of a fully playable first person mode that looked just like a classic Elder Scrolls game. It was fast, fluid, and extremely impressive, to the point where it looked like they were playing Oblivion or Skyrim at times. Yep, I'm playing the entire game this way.
- Zenimax claims that this build is currently playable and in testing, and "will ship complete with the game at launch." A launch that they also confirmed will be available on Mac OSX day one.
Relic of the War that Wasn't
What if the leader of your country's government went for a swim…. and never came back? Could it be a possible defection to the communists?
On Sunday 17 December, 1967, Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia did just that. Visting Cheviot Beach (near Melbourne) the Prime Minister did what many might do on a hot Australian summer's day (as it is in December down there) and took to the surf.
A short while later, the Royal Australian Navy, Air force, and Army were combing the area, in what became the greatest search and rescue operation in Australian History…. No trace of the Prime Minister was ever found.
Ever since then, conspiracy theorists and rumour mongers have attempted to piece together exactly what happened. Mr Holt was no ordinary swimmer, he was noted as being a strong swimmer and was an experienced skin-diver, and had as his biographer noted "incredible powers of endurance underwater"… leadeng many to believe that rather than a simple case of drowning, Mr Holt had actually defected to the Chinese, and the swim was cover to board a Chinese submarine - could a person with such qualities really just drown into a surf beach?
No official enquiry was ever conducted, but this is a case where the conspiracy theorists are probably jumping the gun… Despite his history with the water, the Prime Minister was in poor health at the time, collapsing in Parliament earlier in the year, and potentially had problems with his shoulder as well as nutritional deficiencies…. But still, with no body ever found perhaps we will never know the truth… Perhaps in some quiet village in rural China, Harold Holt is still alive - and swimming - today.