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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Morrowind Maestro

On YouTube today, I noticed that a there’s several videos that help instruct folks with playing the music from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I found the above video by user fabiandevries particularly impressive, because of his skills of taping with one hand and filming with the other.

Looks like I’ll have another song to play when I come across a piano. You should see my rendition of the Jurassic Park theme…it’s glorious.

Raise a Glass for These New Mods

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Thought I’d share some interesting mods for Morrowind and Oblivion while surfing Planet Elder Scrolls today.

Above is an image from Rougetet’s Lore Friendly Libations mod. This mod is intended to help modders looking to fill up “shelves, bars, etc. within the tavern/bar mods that have been created by other modders with some more colorful and lore-friendly beverages.” S0unds like a great mod to come home to after a tough day at the office.

Also new, here’s a couple cool “cosmetic mods” to check out. Oblivion brings dark times to Cyrodiil, so it makes sense that characters should look like they’ve had a hellish day. Using Djangos Unique Features mod, you can add details like, “scars, stubble, tattoos – even acne” to the NPCs in the game. If scars and acne aren’t bleak enough for you, maybe PrinceofNothing’s Amputations Mod for Morrowind will be. With this mod, you’ll easily be able to “equip” amputations to your character. Let’s start seeing some reenactments of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Last but not least, here’s a shout out to Galuf’s Imperial Texture replacer for Morrowind. With this mod, you can make Imperial structures look a little more homely by giving the textures a more wooden look. Check out the screens here…pretty cool!

‘Daggerfall Memories’ Interview

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Back in 1996, we released Daggerfall, the second game in The Elder Scrolls series. In just a few months of working here at Bethesda, I’ve come to learn that it is a beloved title for many fans because of its depth and ambitious gameplay.

As a result, I often hear suggestions that the game should be remade. While that’s not something we’re really looking into (we’d rather focus on making new games), last week I had a chance to ask a few questions to Deathless Aphrodite (Daniele Brunengo) about his Oblivion mod, Daggerfall Memories: The Liberation of Cybiades — a mod that adds plenty of new content inspired by Daggerfall. Here’s what the Brunengo, a 36-year-old math and physics teacher from Albenga, Italy had to say:

When did you first get into the Elder Scrolls, and when did you first get involved with modding the games?

I’ve played all Elder Scrolls games except for Arena. Daggerfall got me involved as no other game before it. I’ve been hooked ever since. As far as modding goes, I took my first steps with the Morrowind Construction Set and released a couple of mods, but I didn’t really get into it before Oblivion.

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The Imperial Library Interviews Dyus, Haskill

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Always ones to go searching for more info on Elder Scrolls lore, the guys at TIL skipped talking to the devs and went straight to the source (so to speak) in an interview with two of the more memorable characters in Shivering Isles. Here’s an excerpt:

TIL: Each of you, gentlemen, has resided in the Mad God’s realm for a long time. Haskill, as right hand of the Lord himself at New Sheoth; Dyus as keeper of… what is left of the library of Jyggalag. However, has either of you ever been to the Mortal plane? What is your opinion on a world full of personal choice?

Dyus: Personal choice is an illusion. I chose not to delude myself with it. However, I must admit that the quaint mortals of Tamriel have a distressing habit of interfering with the plans and plots of Daedric Princes. And quite successfully, I might add. It has given me a new respect for Lorkhan’s choice.

I have studied Mundus extensively, but have never set foot in it. My lord Jyggalag led me to believe that I would not find the experience…what was the word he used…oh, yes. Healthy.

Haskill: What need do I have to visit Tamriel? I have more than enough irritating mortals to deal with here. Excepting your delightful self, of course.

You can read the full interview here.

Melon Madness!

Todd sent me this hilarious video that he found over on Destructoid that I figured I’d share on the blog. The video, created by Elgiggidy, shows him dropping 10,000 watermelons at high-res quality upon a unfortunate “Adoring Fan.” Hilarious.

It should be noted that this isn’t the first “watermelon glitch” video to hit the internets. Previously, other videos have been uploaded showing the wrath of 5,000 watermelons. You can take a look at some of the other fan-made videos over at YouTube.

Shivering Isles for 360 Coming to a Store Near You

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We announced today that we will be shipping a Shivering Isles disc to retail stores next month. This disc will allow 360 gamers who don’t have access to Live to play the full Shivering Isles expansion as well as the content of the Knights of the Nine faction as well as .

Retail price will be $29.99. No word yet on what we might be able to do on PS3. It’s still being looked into as we speak.

Joel Burgess Mod Interview, Part 2

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So a while back Joel did an interview about modding Oblivion and answered a host of questions from Oblivion Mod site Silver Rose Studios.

They’ve sent over a host of additional questions for Joel and they posted the entire interview today. Here’s a snippit:

1. What exactly are your duties? Do they include more than just object placement and interior design?

Level design is a little different at every company. Ultimately, we’re responsible for the player’s moment-to-moment experience, particularly in combat spaces, so we handle the layout, scripting, and population of an area. Artists get involved polishing some of our clutter placement and lighting, and quest designers handle scripting where it’s relevant to their work. We also do some writing; things like notes left by previous residents, usually where they include some hint at the backstory or gameplay of a space.

Their server is undergoing maintenance and the site can be hard to load right now, so head over to the Silver Rose forums to read the full interview.

Oblivion Theme Gets Power Metal Treatment

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Working at Bethesda, every so often, I find myself getting Jeremy Soule’s theme for Oblivion caught in my head. After today though, I’m hearing the tune in a new light.

Today one of our moderators for the Bethesda Game Studios Forums pointed me to a thread discussing a cover version of the theme music by the band Epinikion. The band, who consider themselves a “Power Metal Guild,” crank the music to 11. Too bad this won’t be in the tracklist for Guitar Hero III or Rock Band. :)

Check out their rendition on their MySpace page or on their official site.

Oblivion Shoutouts for Great Weapons and Hard Work

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Here’s two interesting mentions Oblivion received over the long weekend…

Ash pointed me to cool list over on Team Xbox, where they picked their “Top 20 Weapons of All-Time.” Oblivion/Shivering isles made the cut with a mention of the “Dawnfang/Duskfang” blade that becomes available with the Shivering Isles expansion. The sword(s) came in at #5 on the list, and the Team Xbox editors had this to say about its powers:

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