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Axe
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PostSubject: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:43 pm

15 Years of The Elder Scrolls Series




Believe it or not, this spring marks the 15th anniversary of The Elder Scrolls series. In spring of 1994, “The Elder Scrolls: Arena” was released, after having to delay the release from the previous deadline at the end of 1993. The designer of “The Elder Scrolls: Arena” was Ted Peterson of Bethesda Softworks.



“The Elder Scrolls: Arena” took place in the land of Tamriel. It was a first person RPG that had the player explore through dungeons, forests, cities, and just about anything else you would find in a world of medieval warfare and magic. “The Elder Scrolls: Arena” laid the foundation of the following Elder Scrolls. In the latest “Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion” the player will follow the same formula of exploring the land, clearing dungeons, and performing quests. “The Elder Scrolls: Arena” is perfect example of “if isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Though, there have been numerous improvements over time, Arena laid out the original groundwork for the “open world” gameplay structure of later Elder Scrolls games.

Then “The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall” was published in 1996. Daggerfall was shown off as an ambitious game that would have many improved features including a giant world to explore, skill system, and a 3D world. However, when released, Daggerfall came with so many software bugs, a player could not complete the main quest or would end up falling through the terrain. After many patches and fixes, most of these bugs were eventually resolved.





In 1997 and 1998, Bethesda released two new Elder Scrolls games. “The Elder Scrolls Legends: Battlespire” and “The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard” were very linear RPG’s and action-adventure games. They were much smaller than the previous two games in the series. “The Elder Scrolls Legends: Battlespire” had the interesting features of cooperative and versus multiplayer modes. The multiplayer feature was accessible through a multiplayer network know at the time as the “Mplayer” network. The “Mplayer” network was then sold to GameSpy in 2000 and was integrated into GameSpy Arcade.



Though the games were following the highly successful “Daggerfall” game neither game sold very well, almost leading Bethesda into bankruptcy. This led to Bethesda being acquired by their current owners, Zenimax, in 1999.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was released in 2002 for the PC and XBOX. Morrowind was the first Elder Scrolls game under the direction of Todd Howard. It featured a highly detailed 3D world, items, and characters. Though the land mass contained in the game was not as big as its predecessors, Morrowind ended up being highly successful with over 60 Game of the Year awards and sold over 4 million copies by 2005. The two expansions for Morrowind were released in 2002 and 2003, known as Tribunal and Bloodmoon.



The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released in 2006 for PC and XBOX 360. It was then released for the PS3 in 2007. Oblivion would include improved AI, improved graphics, and even a physics engine. Some of the other new features added to the series were voice acting and lip-syncing for all of the game’s dialog. Unlike the previous Elder Scrolls titles which had quest information and other dialog in lengthy paragraphs of text, Oblivion would allow the player to interact with characters in an in-depth conversation. It incorporated different facial expressions depending on the topics of conversation of the NPC’s. They are able to change their attitudes towards the player by conversational techniques such as telling jokes, showing off, flattering or being threatening. With the advanced AI, NPC’s would also interact with each other and engage in conversations making the world of Cyrodil even more realistic.



Having learned from their success in Morrowind by creating an exceptionally realistic world, Bethesda carried over the same attention to detail to Oblivion. It would take the attention to detail one step further. Though the province of Cyrodil in Oblivion was smaller than Morrowind, Oblivion featured a wide variety of mixed landscapes. One of the most impressive was the addition of large and highly detailed forests, which was a drastic change from the rocky and swampy lands of Morrowind. With hundreds of NPC’s, ruins, caves, creatures, quests, and thousands of interactive objects, Bethesda’s attention to detail made sure that there was nowhere in Cyrodil that was left untouched.



How did the critics and fans react to Oblivion? It earned the highest marks of any previous Elder Scrolls game. It won multiple Game of the Year awards, including “Overall Game of the Year” by G4, Spike TV, and the Golden Joystick Awards. They also earned several RPG of the Year awards from IGN, GameSpy, G4, and Gamespot.

Only a few months after it was released, the ESRB changed the rating of Oblivion from a T game (for ages 13+) to an M rated game (for ages 17+). The change was a result of a user made mod that allowed a player to access to a texture file that was locked-out in the game. By accessing this, players could play the game with all the female characters being completely topless. Even though the modification was only available on the PC and was made by a 3rd party, all copies of Oblivion had to be changed with the new rating.

In 2006, the “Knights of the Nine” expansion pack was released. The expansion pack featured new quests and content. The added storyline was about the return of an Ayleid king known as Umaril, and the only way to defeat him is by reassembling the Knights of the Nine and becoming the a holy crusader of The Nine. Retail versions of the expansion also included the small expansions that were available on release of Oblivion, for a few dollars each. The expansion did not receive as high marks as Oblivion did, mostly due to the short length and no added gameplay elements.



Oblivion’s 2nd expansion, “The Shivering Isles,” was released in 2007. “The Shivering Isles” added an entire new landmass to explore, a new storyline, quests, and content. The new main storyline began when a mysterious door opened in Cyrodil leading to the realm of the Deadric prince, Sheogorath. This expansion was unique because of the unusual environment that the player would experience. These environments included new plants, structures, creatures that reflected the part of the island you would be exploring. The realm of the Shivering Isles is also known as the realm of madness. The island is split into two halves, Mania and Dementia. Mania is a colorful and cheery world, while Dementia is the complete opposite, dark and dangerous. The player would attempt to stop the complete destruction of the realm from an event known as the “Greymarch.” Video game critics gave “The Shivering Isles” great reviews with high or perfect scores. With so much packed into an affordable expansion pack it, was like a smaller version of Oblivion, which was a massive improvement from the previous expansion.



The Elder Scrolls series has come a long way over the last 15 years. It had its high points, that would make the series one of the most popular Role-playing games ever made, and its low points that almost led Bethesda into bankruptcy. But looking back, the development of The Elder Scrolls games has been a benefit for gamers around the world. As yet, there has been no official announcement of an Elder Scrolls 5. However, US Patent and Trademark Office records show that in 2006 Zenimax trademarked the name “Skyrim” for “Computer and video game user instruction manuals; magazines, books, and pamphlets concerning video games; computer and video game strategy guides” and “Clothing, namely shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, jackets; headgear, namely, headwear,” sparking rumors throughout the internet. But even if Oblivion were the last Elder Scrolls game, we can all say, “Thank you Bethesda for 15 years of great games.”
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:00 pm

That was quite interesting
Best series ever!
Don't you dare go MMO

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:02 pm

Me and my buddy used to say how fantastic it would be if it was an MMO, and now I'm dreading it : (


Please, just make another epic single player game! Please!

lol, you know what would be kickass though? F*cking Co-op! Dude, if they had Co-op over Xbox Live in the next one, me and you are going to be playing through that together
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:09 pm

Yeah man
They need to turn friendly fire off
Seriously its the only issue I have with the entire game

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:16 pm

They need to make it so you can turn it on and off. Like a safety thing like Fable 2 has. Sometimes you want to go on a rampage, you know?

I wish they would make it more like morrowind so you can kill everything. I wanted to kill King Septim before he died.

lol that reminds me of one time in morrowind, I actually killed one of the Nine Divines. that was fun.
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:18 pm

I killed the ghosts of the nine divines in oblivion lol- well not killed- defeated or whatever

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:23 pm

See, one of the things I liked about Morrowind was you had more freedom. You could murder every main character, you could go wherever, and best of all, your enemies and equipment wasn't based on level. If you ran into a high level area, you would die.

Unlike Oblivion, where creatures get stronger as you level up. What I want to do is find high levels early on and get awesome stuff
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:28 pm

That never really bothered me, a good fight is a good fight

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:34 pm

True. What I'm doing this playthrough is playing on the highest difficulty. lol, it takes like 20 hits to kill a goblin, and they kill you in like 5
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:35 pm

Ahaha, so you gotta be a mage pretty much
I love arrows
I have thousands of them- I kill enemies too fast

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:36 pm

lol I'm just a buff warrior Nord this game. You have to block and try to avoid getting hit at all. You can do it, but it's challenging. I have restoration so I can use the crap healing spell they give you
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:39 pm

If you are not a hardcore mage, you will not be able to use 1/5 of the spells

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:43 pm

Yeah I know. I saw spells for sale that required 5 times more magicka than I had for one cast. /facepalm


All I really wanted was to be able to heal myself since I was playing on a hard difficulty. If I can get more Magicka, it will prove useful I'm sure
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:47 pm

When I first played I bought a expensive spell that did like 80 damage. 100 Hours later I still couldn't cast it

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:52 pm

I made an epic spell once, I called it force lightning and it did 100 shock damage for like 60 seconds. By the time I was done with the game, I could still only cast it once before my magicka was drained
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:54 pm

In the knights of the nine expansion there were like 5 creatures that casted 50 shock damage for 10 seconds on you
It was brutal, I lost so many minions lol- let them take the damage

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:07 pm

Knights of the Nine was a disappointment. I seriously beat that expansion in a night lol. It was fun though, but it was small. Almost all of the Fallout expansions are like that. It pisses me off. I want a huge, new area with tons of quests. Like Shivering Isles or Bloodmoon.
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:10 pm

The praying at the alters thing was retarded

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:13 pm

lol here's the expansion

go to all the altars and pray. Return. Complete
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:23 pm

BEST GAME EVER
I'm stealing that idea. f***ing speed run that s***

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:24 pm

Dude I'm telling you, we need to play that sh!t. F*cking good game man
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:28 pm

One time I prayed at an alter and I got +5 alchemy dude
I made a f***ing tasty drink used GODAMN carrots

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:30 pm

lol it's kinda cool how you can make a health potion out of beer and carrots.

I also made a potion out of a pumpkin, I'm not quite sure how that worked
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:34 pm

Or troll meat with plants
Hell there all gross

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:36 pm

breakyoudown wrote:
Or troll meat with plants
Hell there all gross

lol bonemeal and cave fungus
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:38 pm

Mothers head with Argnoian's heart

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:40 pm

hmmmmm that's my favorite!


lol I think it's funny that this thread is already considered a popular thread because of us. It should have been considered a popular thread when I made just because it's about Oblivion....
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:46 pm

Yo lets talk about oblivion in every thread
In a serious thread about piracy
"I fell asleep on a pirate ship once"

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:51 pm

lol we need to! Like that quest where you sleep on the hotel boat and pirates hijack it!
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PostSubject: Re: A History   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:54 pm

Exactly

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PostSubject: Re: A History   Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:44 am

Dude, I would be playing this if this forum wasn't so addicting
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