Wed in Oblivion?

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I noticed on Kotaku some unbelievable photos from a Blizzard employee’s wedding. That Super Mario cake really takes the cake…sorry, couldn’t resist. Seeing the photos from this wedding reminded me of an EGM Live* podcast I listened to about two weeks ago. The “reader/listener mailbag” session was side-splittingly funny, and during it, they commented that would be pretty cool to attend an Oblivion-themed wedding.

This got me to thinking, has anyone out their put a touch of Tamriel into their big day? I asked Pete about it, and he mentioned that in the past couples have emailed him to request music from Morrowind and Oblivion for their wedding, or asked him if it was ok to play it during their wedding, so it sounds like it’s a possibility. If so, send us an e-mail. (Bonus points for pics of the bride emerging from a Gate in her black dress.)

NPCs with Jobs Mod Interview

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For this week’s mod interview, I decided to ask folks within our Elder Scrolls modding forums who they’d want to see interviewed for the blog. It didn’t take long to get suggestions, and now I’ve got plenty of choices for future posts. Having noticed several requests to learn more about Sarkandar’s popular Oblivion mod, NPCs with Jobs, I figured he’d be a good one to start with.

Sarkandar, whose real name is Wouter Danckaert, lives in Hasselt, Belgium and is an application manager for a hospital lab. This November, he and his wife are expecting their first child, who they plan to name Martin Septim Danckaert (ok, I made that last part up).

How did you get started with this project?

I’m a MA in Computer Science, and did some specialization during my last year in the AI domain, as I was always interested in the matter. NPC with Jobs was already sketched out during my studies, it was codenamed “the mayor” back then. But as I couldn’t develop any graphics, the project never got further than a few c++ classes interacting a bit. Until I discovered modding last year. I didn’t even play the game that long.

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Elder Scrolls Modding Update

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Here’s a couple new mods I wanted to share that are over at Planet Elder Scrolls.

Yesterday the site honored their September Hall of Fame inductees. From Morrowind, the Tamriel Rebuilt Team’s TR Morrowind Map1: Telvannis was the lone addition to the Hall. This massive mod adds over tons of new exterior and interior cells, over 2000 new dialogue responses, as well as new NPCs, creatures and equipment. Above is a screen of of Tel Ouada, the home of Mistress Rathra that is included within the mod.

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Oblivion Tribute to Assassin’s Creed

Not too long ago, I caught this video on YouTube and thought it was pretty interesting, however, it wasn’t until after attending the GameCrazy event that it really clicked for me. Sitting across from Ubi Soft’s booth, I probably saw the trailer it’s based on 100 times.

Anyhow, after you watch this video, check out the actual trailer for Assassin’s Creed to see the similarities. For those wondering, the song in the trailer is Lonely Souls by U.N.K.L.E featuring Richard Ashcroft (formerly of The Verve) on vocals. This was one of my favorite songs of my freshman year of college — nearly a decade ago.

Tamriel NPCs Revamped Mod Interview

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A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from Stephane Wuttunee (aka Veritas_Secreto) regarding his mod project, Tamriel NPCs Revamped. For this mod, the 39-year-old Canadian recreated nearly every NPC within Oblivion (leaving only guards in the game untouched). I had a chance to ask Stephane a few questions and here’s what he had to say.

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Now I Know My Daedric ABCs

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This blog post is sponsored by the Daedric letter for “O.”

In my inbox, I received a question not too long ago about learning the Daedric Alphabet. When I spoke with Pete, I was pleasantly surprised to see that The Imperial Library is sharing the alphabet on their site. If you’re dying to write your buddies, Unofficial Elder Scrolls Wiki has a great guide for studying the language.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: speaking with Todd, he wanted to emphasize that officially there is no X or Y in the Daedric Alpabet, although a a few may have accidentally shown up in Morrowind. Now if I could only get a Cracker Jack-like decoder ring so I could start deciphering Todd’s e-mails.

Elder Scrolls Modding Update

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If you’re looking for some of the finest textures for Oblivion, you might want to give Qarl’s Texture Pack III a download. I got head’s up from one of our regular visitors, Chemicaes, who feels the textures are “absolutely amazing,” making the 2 GB zip file worth downloading. You can see how impressive the visuals look in the image above. Visit Planet Elder Scrolls to download

Another popular mod that we haven’t mentioned here is Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul. Currently the most popular download on File Front’s Oblivion Files, this mod is described as a “very complex and extensive modification to TES IV: Oblivion. It changes thousands of variables of this excellent game and also merges into it several very popular third party modifications.”

Do you know of a mod that’s worthy of a shout out on the blog? Let us know by sending an email.

Elder Scrolls Fansites Return

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For die-hard Elder Scrolls fans, some may have noticed that The Elder Scrolls Source (TESSource) and The Imperial Library sites had been down for around a week.

Well good news! Earlier this week I spoke with Xanathar at the Imperial Library and they informed me that they have new servers and you can continue to keep up with their fantastic work with Elder Scrolls lore. Bookmark their new site here.

As for the popular site TESSource, which I’ve used to find new modding content in the past, the site returns as The Elder Scrolls Nexus. From what I’ve seen on the site, I like the new format. Looks like it’s still being updated, the site will be back up at 100%.

Midas Magic Spells of Aurum

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At the end of last month, in a modding update post, I mentioned the popularity of the Midas Magic Spells of Aurum mod from Xilver. Recently, I had a chance to send over some questions for Xilver (whose real name is Brian Rivers) about the mod. Rivers, whose been writing and modding videogames for the last 17 years is a 33-year-old living in Winston-Salem, NC (home of Pete’s alma mater, Wake Forest) and works as an IT manager for a Fortune 500 company in the area. Among the other games he’s modded are Doom, Unreal Tournament & UT2004.

For those that haven’t tried Midas Magic Spells of Aurum, can you briefly explain the mod?

Midas Magic is a completely new set of spells and effects for Oblivion. It’s designed to add depth to the mage experience, with over 100 diverse spells from earth, water, holy, and force spells to tornados, meteors, hail storms, death rays, and freeze rays just to name a few. The mod boasts a host of summonable creatures; slimes, beholders, balrogs, battle cats, and a flying carpet. Midas Magic has a unique alchemical process for learning the spells which requires gold and other various items from the game. This makes learning each spell a bit of a quest. I’ve put quite a bit of energy into the look of the spells as well as in balancing them with gameplay.

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