The Elder Scrolls VI – Hopes and Predictions

At E3 this year Bethesda finally announced that they are working on the next game in the Elder Scrolls series. This isn’t exactly any shocking news, as its obvious that we would be getting it sooner or later, and based on the fact that all they revealed was a glimpse at the title and a background, I’d say we are getting it later, after 2020 for sure, and perhaps even as late as 2022.

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So what do we think the new game might involve? Well before the small amount of information was even revealed, I had my own assumptions about what a new Elder Scrolls game might entail. Considering the fact that Skyrim increased the mass appeal of the series by several orders of magnitude, I would expect that they would continue down the same trend that we can see the games moving in since Morrowind and through Oblivion to Skyrim. This would be basically in making a more streamlined open world sandbox game experience, while cutting back the detail in the RPG elements. As unfortunate as it is, I still think this may happen. I believe this approach would also limit the locations where this game could be set. I would generally omit the Morrowind, Cyrodiil and Skyrim regions from the possibility of being in the game, and with a focus on mass appeal I would assume that the more exotic and strange provinces such as Elsweyr, Black Marsh and Valenwood would be overlooked. This leaves us with The Summerset Isles, High Rock, and Hammerfell.

The game would probably continue in the timeline left off in Skyrim rather than being some sort of prequel, as this is covered by The Elder Scrolls: Online, and there aren’t really any interesting gaps to fill. Also, I would assume that they want to continue with the overarching story of the war between the diminished Empire and the Thalmor’s Aldmeri Dominion. For this reason I would then also say that Summerset Isles, the home of the High Elves and the Dominion, would probably not be the best place to set the game, at least not solely. Continue reading “The Elder Scrolls VI – Hopes and Predictions”

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Geek Etymology – Orcs!

Here I am back at it again taking a look at the origins behind some of our favourite geekiest words. Today I’ll be tackling a seemingly straightforward word, and that is ‘orc’. As everybody should know, this is yet another fantasy creature, and should prove to have a relatively simple history behind it, but where does the word actually come from?

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Orcs from LotR: The Two Towers

Before we start, we should first define what an orc actually is. Orcs, sometimes spelled ‘orks’ tend to be brutish and violent, if not evil, humanoid creatures that are generally depicted with somewhat animalistic features such as tusks, snouts, or sometimes with an ape-like appearance. They are popularly depicted as green-skinned but also are sometimes black, grey or brown in colour. They are also commonly seen as large muscular figures, usually much larger than a human, but are also often small and scrawny and akin to a goblin. It can be hard to define their appearance overall, as they are depicted with a very wide range of characteristics, often even within the same piece of fiction.
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Kingdom Come: Deliverance – More Of This Please

After following the development of this game since it’s Kickstarter campaign a few years ago, Kingdom Come: Deliverance was finally released last month, and it does not disappoint! Being a huge nerd for history, especially medieval history, and even more especially medieval arms and armour, I’ve been wanting a game like this for a long long time.

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The game is set in a very specific historical setting, which helps bring more authenticity to the location and details, as something much larger would be too difficult to get right. So the game is set in a small part of Bohemia ( in the modern day Czech Republic), which is within the Holy Roman Empire, in 1403. The game also features a fairly linear narrative and a set player character, which despite being a definite limit on roleplaying potential in some aspects, this too helps the game focus on more details within the freedom it does provide. Really this is one of the main appeals of the game; the details. It sets out to be a very focused experience, and I believe it succeeds in that. Continue reading “Kingdom Come: Deliverance – More Of This Please”

Finding Middle-Earth in New Zealand

For the whole month of January this year I was fortunate enough to find myself exploring New Zealand, and while the whole country itself has many places that make you feel like you’re stepping right into Tolkien’s world, I specifically went looking for some of the exact locations that were used in the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit movies 🙂

So I’m going to take you through the places I went, and hopefully you’ll find something about some real world, and fictional locations at the same time!

Hobbiton
The first location really has to be Hobbiton, as its the most obvious location for any LoTR fan to head straight for, and its exactly where I went first out of this list.

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I’m sure everyone knows what Hobbiton is,  but just to give some detail on where it fits into Middle-Earth; Hobbiton is a central village of The Shire, and is located on both sides of “The Water”, which is the main river running through The Shire. The village is overlooked by Hobbiton Hill, usually just called “The Hill”, in which lies Bag End, the ancestral home of the Baggins Family. The village consists of Hobbit holes, also called smials, as the dwellings, but there are also many other buildings of wood, brick, and stone, such as the mill and post office. The standard hobbit holes are most commonly lived in by the poorer Hobbits, aside from smials like Bag End, which are far more luxurious versions of the traditional Hobbit home. Most average hobbits would likely live in standard structures. Although it is located on the Hobbiton set, the Green Dragon Inn is actually located on the closest side of the nearby village of Bywater, just one mile away. Despite what you may think, Hobbiton isn’t actually the Shire’s capital. The title is held by the town of Michel Delving, which lies to the West, and is where the Shire’s Mayor resides.
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Games To Look Out For In 2018

So here we are in 2018, and in light of all that has happened in the year just gone, our first thoughts should be… “what games should I look forward to?”. Well that’s what I’m most concerned about anyway, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing right here; looking forward to games.

This is quite simply just a personal list of things I’d be interested in, so if you’re looking for big AAA games, then most of them aren’t going to be mentioned here. Instead you’ll find a mix of my slightly niche tastes, including lots of historical and fantasy settings, and strategy and RPG games. After all, what would be the point of making a list of things everybody already knew about? So go ahead and take a look, you might see a few things you hadn’t heard of just below. 

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The Elite: Dangerous RPG

Earlier this year The Elite: Dangerous RPG was funded on Kickstarter, and recently released its core book. The game is co published by Spidermind Games and Modiphius Entertainment. It is a licensed release under Frontier, the developers of the Elite: Dangerous PC game that this is based on. 

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The setting of the Elite universe seems to be a good fit for an RPG, with plenty of room for GM freedom, and options for players. Just like the original Elite computer game from 1984, the modern Elite: Dangerous is based in our own galaxy, in a future where space flight and ship ownership is very common. Cheap and readily available faster-than-light travel has allowed humanity to explode across the stars, building new colonies, cities, nations and empires. The galaxy is a rich place, filled with a wealth of minerals, water and life bearing planets. The three huge factions of the Federation, Empire and Alliance grow wealthier every day, and such wealth attracts powerful people who scheme daily to increase their power. So essentially you have a new frontier to play in, one where traders, miners, explorers, pirates, and bounty hunters are all flying about at FTL speeds in their personalized spacecraft. Continue reading “The Elite: Dangerous RPG”

Total War: WARHAMMER II – In With The New World

It’s been out for a few weeks now, so It’s finally time to take a look at the second installment in my most played (and written about) game of last year, Total War: Warhammer II! If you want to catch up with how we left off the first game prior to this launch, check out THIS post.

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This second game has come out only about a year and a half after the release of the first, so as expected, you’re mostly getting more of the same thing here. There are however plenty of improvements to be found, and more importantly awesome new factions. There are 4 to start with in this game, and they are two flavours of Elves (High and Dark), the Lizardmen, and the Skaven. Just like the first game, this is a fairly small amount when compared to historical Total War games, but yet again the variation you get with just 4 factions is considerable.  Continue reading “Total War: WARHAMMER II – In With The New World”