A golden birthday for Morrowind

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Todd shot me an email today reminding me that The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind had “Gone Gold” on PC eight years ago today. You often hear the phrase “Gone Gold” in gaming, and until I started working here, I didn’t necessarily appreciate what a huge day it is for developers. It’s when a game is finalized and ready to be printed to the discs that you eventually purchase. The road to release is nearly complete (Morrowind’s release date was May 1, 2002), and it’s definitely time for celebration… and a happy hour.

So on that note, congrats to the all the devs that worked countless hours to make Morrowind possible. And thanks to all of you for playing the game — it’s amazing how the community for this game continues eight years later.

Planet Elder Scrolls Hall of Fame — March Entries

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APY at Planet Elder Scrolls has announced the latest Hall of Fame mods. Get these installed…stat!

Oblivion Mods

  • First Person Sitting Perspective Fix by Kirel: Now when you sit down in first-person mode, the camera will follow your movement.
  • Dark Green Glass Armor by Ohanzee: This mod gives a new look to glass armor — featuring a dark green tint.
  • Hoarfrost Castle by Antistar: A new castle mod (pictured above) that features an outstanding view over the Great Forest, the Heartlands, and the Nibenay basin: from Bruma, to Chorrol – to the Imperial City.

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Planet Elder Scrolls names Hall of Fame mods for January

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Planet Elder Scrolls has announced the latest Hall of Fame mods for Morrowind and Oblivion. Here’s a look…

Morrowind mods

  • Leveled Magicka by hessi9: This mod increases your maximum magicka at 4% per level (at level 26 your starting magicka has been doubled. The mod requires having either the Bloodmoon or Tribunal expansion.
  • Rise of House Telvanni by Pozzo, Bhl, and Karpik777: Pictured above, this mod is an extended version of Pozzo’s Rise of House Telvanni. By a series of quests and political decisions the player can either lead House Telvanni to political predominance or expand it moderately.
  • Hilgya the Seamstress by Plangkye: A new shop in Dagon Fel selling some fancy threads for Better Bodies 2.o.

Oblivion mods

  • Benirus Manor – Necromancer’s Lair by Vypress: Vypress’ first mod, Benirus Manor adds a necromancer’s lair to the basement of Benirus Manor in Anvil.
  • Harvest [Flora] by Quarn and Dejunai: This mod changes the physical appearance of plants if you have harvested them.
  • The Heart of the Dead by BFreyermuth: A sizable new quest mod that features new characters, hours of new quests filled with new dungeons, and more.

Congrats to all these modders for their contributions to the community.

Around the web: Back to the Future edition

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Great Scott! As one of the few creatures scurrying around the office, today already feels like the night before Christmas, even if it’s two nights before Christmas. Most everyone has left for the holidays, and I’ll be doing the same soon. But before I head out, I thought I’d round up some of the latest online coverage — this time dominated by coverage of the 2000s, 2009, and 2010.

Top games of the decade, top stories of the year, best dinosaurs of all time — with both the year and decade coming to an end, these lists keep coming in. We start with IndustryGamers’s Top 20 Stories of 2009 –which features ZeniMax’s aquisition of id Software at #18. Speaking of id, RAGE makes Telegraph’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Games for 2010.

Elsewhere, Fallout 3 is in good company in Big Download’s Best PC Games of the Decade, while Morrowind and Oblivion share a spot in GameStooge’s Top 50 (with the countdown still going). Also, at The Yorker, Bethesda Game Studios ranks #9 in a list of the Top Ten Game Developers of the Decade.

While most sites are looking back at 09 and the decade as a whole, Joystiq revisits 2008 to help gamers find great titles with better deals. Making the list is Fallout 3.

Heading back to the future, head to Splash Damage’s site — where they have news on the “most wanted” lists Brink is making for 2010.

On the subject of what people want — see what Pete and Todd (and other industry folks) told Kotaku they want for Christmas. More on that soon.

November Hall of Fame Entries from Planet Elder Scrolls

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Planet Elder Scrolls has the latest inductees to their modding Hall of Fame. Here’s a quick  look at November’s inductees, including encore honors for Plangkye and Dimitri Mazieres .

Morrowind mods

  • Mesh Improvements v1.6.1 by Armed_Defender: A simple mesh replacer that replaces older meshes in Morrowind.
  • Better Almalexia by Plangkye: Changes Almalexia’s creature models with updated graphical replacers.
  • Dark Brotherhood Armor Replacer – Expanded by Dimitri Mazieres: According to the author, this mod changes the Dark Brotherhood assassin’s armor to a look reminiscent of concept art released for Oblivion.

Oblivion mods

  • DarNified UI by DarN: An extended update to the game’s user interface.
  • Clocks of Cyrodiil by WillieSea (pictured above): Adds plenty of clocks to Cyrodiil — building clocks, wall clocks, clock towers and more. All clocks actually feature “accurate game time.”
  • Extra Robe Pack by tegeal: Adds 15 new robes and 10 new hoods, which are available for purchase in towns throughout the game. They make great Christmas presents!

Congrats to these modders. We’ll be back in a month or so with the final inductees of 2009!

Found in the mailroom — Morrowind apparently is time consuming

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Thought I’d share this note sent emailed over to me by Alistair Hatch, our European PR Manager. It was included in a package sent to our UK office along with a copy of Morrowind. If you can’t see what the note says, it reads as follows:

“Dear Zenimax,

This game is incredibly addictive. It’s the devil! All my precious time is being devoured by this monster. I must sent it back to you before I start playing again. I hope I never buy a game like this again! Mercy on the souls of the computer nerds out there.

Adios!”

Almost sounds like Frodo returning the ring to Mordor. Maybe y’all can make this person feel better by sharing how much precious time you’ve invested in the game.

200 and counting!

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Congratulations are in order for Game Informer, who are celebrating the release of their 200th issue. To commemorate the occasion, they’ve put together a list of The Top 200 Games of All Time. Among the games included on the list are DOOM (#6), Oblivion (#30), Fallout 3 (#65), Morrowind (#101), Quake 2 (#132), and Wolfenstein 3D (#139). Additionally, the top eight games on their list each received a special edition cover. Above is the cover made for DOOM. You can check out the other seven at Game Informer’s website.

Be on the lookout for the 200th issue on newsstands or in your mailbox.

Around the web

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Time for another web update…

This week 1Up has a new roundtable discussion near and dear to Bethesda Game Studios — it’s a discussion on The Future of Single-Player RPGs. The roundtable includes Bill Roper (Cryptic Studios), Alan Miranda (Ossian Studios), Marcin Iwinski (CD Projeckt) and Feargus Urquhart, the CEO of Obsidian Entertainment (the guys working on Fallout: New Vegas). The feature has several references to Fallout 3 and can be read here.

More news after the break…

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Planet Elder Scrolls HOF update

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Last week Planet Elder Scrolls announced their October Hall of Fame Nominees. Here’s a list…

Morrowind mods

Oblivion mods

Congrats to all these modders for their great work!