Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all and hope you all have/had a wonderful day with family and friends.

I will be making a post about what is to come in 2013 within the next week!

Jingle Rock!

Can it be? Yes it can! Another machinima is online!

Happy Early Xmas All!

About a month ago I discovered this song by DJ BL3ND, and after getting permissions, plans was set up for a machinima. This weekend we got the filming done and I can present to you, Jingle Rock!

Hope you all like it!

Geoflock's Good Idea, Bad Idea

Well wasn't thinking of doing a machinima and posting it today when I got up this morning haha.

Kerbal Space Program have a competition going for Good Idea, Bad Idea and thought I'll give it a go. Luckily Thomas that did the reporter voice in "Orbiter" was online and quickly did a few lines for the narrator. Big thanks to Thomas for that!

After three hours it was done and yes, that actually includes filming, voice acting, creating some quick logos, editing everything together, then rendering, encoding and uploading to Youtube.

And here it is, Geoflock's Good Idea, Bad Idea.

Hope you all like it!

You can head on over to the official Kerbal Space Program Forums for more information about the competition.

ALSO: Kerbal Space Program is celebrating their second anniversary today! 
Congrats to the Squad team!
You can watch the live stream for Kerbalkon here:
Check out the forums for more information about kerbalkon.

Oribital - Kerbal Space Program Machinima

Well here it is, the newest machinima by Taernoc Productions :D

A few weeks ago I discovered a game called Kerbal Space Program in a video on Youtube. It immediately got my attention and downloaded the demo the same day. Two days later I bought the game :D

If you do not know the game, it is a rocket simulator where you build and launch rockets into space, orbit and land on other planets and moons and basically enjoy what space has to offer. The game is a lot of fun, so after playing it for a few weeks, I decided to make this machinima!

The first ever Kerbin satellite is ready for launch and everybody is ready for this big day including the KSPNN (Kerbal Space Program News Network) crew, professional Mission Control Kerbals and Jennie Kerman, the kerbonaut!

Be sure to check the game out here where you can try the demo and buy it!

Hope you enjoy the machinima!

New Machinima Coming Soon!

Just a quick note to let you know that a new machinima is in production. Filming is done and also some editing, the only thing that is left is the voice acting of some scenes and then the editing and finalization of the machinima :D

Watch this space!

Comrido 2.0 - Update!

Well finally released a new update!
This one is for the Comrido system I created a bit more than a year ago.

The 2.0 version includes a brand new design, channel changer & viewer, custom image option and an improved menu with a lot of behind-the-scenes optimization to the code. The radios can now display the custom image of the unit they are synched with (if one is set) with some changes to the textures.

The Comrido RGU unit, Comrido U unit, Comrido R radios and the Comrido RGR radios given by the RGU units have all been updated to 2.0 and will be rolled out within the next few days to anyone that already owns the 1.0 version.

Guild Wars 2: My Opinion, Experience and Thoughts

Here are my experience and thoughts on the game I have spending my last two and a half weeks on, Guild Wars 2I added wiki and video links to the some of the topics where you can read in detail about it rather than me spending another few pages explaining exactly how it works. I also added some other videos from ArenaNet and some pictures I took in Guild Wars 2.

Back Story:
Back in 2006 I got Guild Wars, my first ever MMO. It was something totally different to me, especially since before that I only played single player games and the occasional LAN with friends. This opened a whole new world to me and I enjoyed Guild Wars for several months which was also the start of me making machinimas with this slideshow. I made some great friends there and enjoyed several adventures through the world of Tyria with my Elementalist and his pet, Phoenix.

Then a few years back I heard rumours about Guild Wars 2 being developed and I started following the trailers, waiting patiently until the release date was confirmed and I could pre-order it.

I admit there was the fear of hype. I have seen several games these last few years, building up hype just for the game to release and you realise it was just that, hype. Well, I can gladly say Guild Wars 2 is not like that.

My Character:
From the first trailer I saw for Guild Wars 2, I knew that I wanted to play as an Asura, so as soon as I logged in and selected Aurora's Glade as my EU server, I started creating my male Asura. Character creation has more than a few options to make your character as unique as possible, especially with detailed customization on the faces. This adds the ability to fine tune every part of your characters face like the nose size, eye shape, height and color, mouth width, etc.

After spending a good amount of time creating my Asura, I selected Engineer as my profession and then selected a few Personal Story options (more on this below). Last was my name and I was ready to enter the world of Guild Wars 2.

A few people mentioned this and I agree, at first it can be very chaotic. In the area I started off, there was characters running all over the place, fighting stuff and me standing there trying to figure out what I have to do and where I have to go. ArenaNet obviously wanted to start of the game with with a bang, which is great, it just takes a bit getting used to.

My Asura Character with the Human city, Divinity's Reach, in the background.
My Asura character with the human city, Divinity's Reach, in the background.

Exploring has been improved big time from the first game, especially since you can now jump and swim as well. There is a lot to see, secrets to be found, point of interests, vistas and so much more.
The areas look beautiful and the buildings architecture is very unique to who build it like Asura usually have pyramid-type inspired builds with use of blue glass, where the Sylvari have all their houses build (or grown?) out of plants.

Some areas also depend on the time of day, for example; a lake during the day might look beautiful, but at night it is covered by mist and bats roam the area. This gives a nice experience when exploring.

Jumping Puzzle
Very Fun Jumping Puzzle.

What I really enjoy is jumping puzzles that can range from some easy to more challenging, to some where jumping miss might result in your death (I have screamed a few times loudly when I slipped). Rewards range in all kinds of forms and several times there is a jumping puzzle to reach a Vista.

Then there are the cities... I visited Divinity’s Reach, the main city of the humans, one day and it is absolutely massive and feel so much like an actual city that is alive. It has market stalls, people walking around and doing stuff and another reason why it probably feel so massive is because a huge portion of it is explorable and not just backdrop. What you usually see in games are that cities feel more like small towns or it is massive with backdrops, but the explorable area is just a small portion of it. So far I have been really impressed with the cities and villages I have seen.

Small Oceanside Village
Small Oceanside Village.

And of course, I cannot forget about the underwater areas. It is beautiful and offer so much for exploration. Other than the facts that combat changes (read below), it is so fun swimming around and interacting with what you can find.

Swimming with the fishies.

Combat is similar in the way that you have certain skills on certain number keys; the difference is the fact on how much emphasis is set on moving constantly. Standing still and just attacking is usually a great method for getting yourself killed very fast. Moving, dodging and knowing when to hide behind objects will keep you alive for a good time.

Depending on the weapon you use depends on the skills you get. For example, having a dagger and pistol in each hand is complete different skill than a two handed sword or even switching dagger and pistol around. Also with your weapon skills, you have skills you can unlock as your gather skill points. For example as an Engineer the first skill I chose to get is a gun turret that I can shoot at targets.

Combat & Event
Bodies everywhere.

As mentioned above, combat changes underwater with the fact that you use a different weapon and with that you have different skills too. It can take a bit to get used to the underwater combat as it works vertically as well, but it adds to the game so much. Some of your own skills might not work underwater where others will work differently.

Events are one of the greatest things that has been added to Guild Wars 2 and made me see questing in MMO’s in a totally different way. Instead of walking up to an NPC, get a quest, do something and return it, these events happen from time to time and usually even leads on to something bigger. For example, one event is a fort being attacked and you can help defend it. After that, the people there send a runner to go tell another guard some distance away about who the attackers was... now you can escort that runner to his destination. After reaching it, you can attack the initial attackers... That is three events, none that you talked to NPC’s and you’re not locked in a quest at all.

Another event I really enjoyed was when I was standing around one day, watching NPC’s and sorting some inventory. I heard one NPC talking about combining some stuff to make something incredible... next thing the NPC goes “oh oh” and runs away with a huge blob appearing where he was standing and starts attacking everything it sees. What followed was a huge battle where several other players joined in to defeat it.

Escorting Allies.

These events do repeat from time to time, but even with that it does not feel boring at all. It feels a lot more like a world that is alive with stuff happening all over the place where it is up to you if you want to help or walk away. Awards include experience, coin and karma, another currency used to buy items from some vendors that offer it.

Personal Story: Official Video
Usually in other MMO’s you are told something like “You are the only one that can save this world”, not mentioning “You and the other thousands of players playing this game”. This is what I like about Guild Wars 2, because the story feels unique to you and changes depending on your choices you made with character creation and throughout the game.

Another thing that I really like is whenever there is a story type cinematic (as seen in the picture below), your character actually has a voice and you watch the story unfold. You can also bring party members with you on your personal story where they can help and watch these cinematics with you.

Story Cinematic
Dialog Cinematic

ArenaNet several times mentioned making this unique to each player and in most cases; it usually is, as far game limits go.

Crafting: Wiki
So far in crafting I have been having a lot of fun and have actually spend more time on it than I thought I would. There are several types of crafting, but you can only focus on two at a time. It is easy to switch though by paying a small amount coin and your progress will not be lost with the one you switch out.

I decided to go with Leatherworker and Jeweler. Jeweler has been a lot of fun so far, and I have created some really nice rings with great boosts.  Leatherworker on the other hand I am still working on as it is a bit harder finding leather or I haven’t found a spot where I can get it easier.

Crafting items gets stored in your Collections tab(all crafting items stack up here nicely organized), freeing up space from your inventory and your bank slots. You can craft straight from both your collections and bank slots although discovery (method of discovering new recipes by combining items) is at the moment limited to what you have in your inventory, but is said to be fixed to work directly out of your bank and collections too. Haha of course the same day I post this, ArenaNet releases update notes that it is fixed.

Bank slots can store items that is then available over your account, meaning you can log into any of your characters and the bank is shared. This bank is also accessible from any crafting areas so no need to run directly to the bank each time.

Sorting out inventory after crafting several stuff.

Trading Post: Wiki
I have sold and bought a few stuff with the Trading Post so far and it works really well now. Initially after the launch there were major issues with it and mostly it was offline while they try and fix things. ArenaNet have fixed these problems a while back and it is working great now although the economy needs to stabilize a bit. Since it was offline so long, there was a surplus of items people wanted to sell, bringing in a huge supply for low demand. It have been getting better over time now and it is pretty interesting to see how this all works out.

Gems are another currency that can be used to buy special stuff in the Gem Store like mini pets, boosters, bank slots, etc. You can purchase Gems with real money or even use coin you make in the game to buy some and depending on the exchange, you might not have to pay too much for a few gems. Problem usually in MMO’s with in-game stores is the fact that people buy items that gives them suddenly an edge over other players. Considering the only thing that can give you a bit of an edge is boosters (which you can find in world too) and the fact that PvP auto levels you to level 80 for fair combat between all, I cannot see the Gem Store having that problem.

Guilds: Wiki
A few days ago I created a guild called Tyrian Serenity with my girlfriend. We have a website up now, so check it out! So far it has been pretty fun with the guild and there are some nice things that can be upgraded. Not much else to say on this topic for now.

Sitting in a plant!
I'm so small, I fit right into this plant... which can actually be a Sylvari pot...

 I haven’t spend much time on these yet but the little I did play has been fun. As mentioned above, when you go to PvP or WvWvW, you are automatically levelled to level 80. PvP is your usual player vs. player games where two groups also try holding as many points on a map as they can to reach a target score. WvWvW is massive, and the little I played was pretty fun but a bit confusing... then again I didn’t spend much time reading how it works, so will be trying that out more in detail another time.

Music & Audio: Official Audio Video
Music in the game is by the same composer as Guild Wars, Jeremy Soule. His music really makes some scenes perfect and there is a few other games I have played that had him as the composer like the last three titles of the Elder Scrolls series, Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim.

Audio in general is well done and voices sounds great, especially when you hear someone outside a building your standing in and it is muffled. Even if you hear another character with the same voice, it isn't always so noticeable. Also there is some great voice actors for some of the voices like Felicia Day, Steve Blum, Jennifer Hale and more!

Here is a video of the some of the Guild Wars 2 voice cast. Note that this video was created back in 2009, just for incase you are wondering why Felicia Day says its her first video game.

The only problem I had so far with audio is that sometimes there is a difference in the voice when one NPC talk to another than when you select to that NPC to talk to them directly. Also there is the issue that some event voices is way to loud when your standing far away from them, but I have seen this being mentioned a few times and most likely will get fixed in the future.

Posing with Yardlie
Posing with Yardlie

Then there are the smaller things that really make the game that little bit better and that a lot of game companies do not even think about. One example is when I was out exploring; I found this building where young Asura is learning. While exploring around there, I found a desk, and selecting it the text read “Braclo”... it was my desk from when I was studying there!

Another example is something a few people have mentioned, and that is the way NPC’s interact with each other. One of the ones I saw is two Sylvari talking about a Charr that just arrived and they are wondering about war in general. They actually then walked over and talked to the Charr, which in turn kinda scares them hehe. Most games when it comes to stuff like this usually have the starting scene and then the characters fade off or just go about doing something else, forgetting what they were talking about two seconds ago.

The animations are really well done too, especially when it comes to the small detail. As an Asura, if I run sideways for a bit and stop, my character does a little jump to the that side on one leg; Or when I jump and land, I kind of land in a almost-falling-forward manner. The emotes is really well done and each race also has their own dance. If you don’t mind seeing each dance of the races, watch this great YouTube video.

The overall art look of the game is really nice touch as well. At first I was not sure if I would really like the artistic route they are taking, but I am really liking it so far. The user interface usually have a brushes drawn type of look to it with even some ground textures have that brush look. If you like concept art, be sure to check it out on the official Guild Wars 2 website.

The Asura city, Rata Sum
The Asura City, Rata Sum

Guild Wars 2 is a fun, exciting, living world that is full of adventure and exploration and has become my favourite MMO ever. Big thanks goes to ArenaNet and everyone involved for making an amazing game!

To quote Mike O'Brien with what he said in the Manifesto Trailer
If you love MMOs, you'll want to check out Guild Wars 2, and if you hate MMOs, you'll really want to check out Guild Wars 2. 
See you in-game!

Dusting off the blog again!

Wow this blog gathers dust fast!

First off, sorry for the long break since my last post. A lot has happened and is still happening, so here is a quick update.

First of all I was on a three week holiday and after I returned, decided to spend some time more on gaming, waiting for the release of Guild Wars 2. Since Guild Wars was my first ever MMO, I was really looking forward to this release. It has been about two weeks now since the release and I am still enjoying the game a lot. I will write a separate post about it sometime.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am working on a new project for Second Life. I haven't touched much of the code since my last post, but tonight I went over some of the ideas for it and decided I am going to shelf a big portion of the code for another time. Since I started this project, it became more and more complicated than what I initially wanted for it, making some options almost impossible to deal with.

Most of the code for the initial idea is already written, so I made a backup tonight and going to soon start stripping out some of the unnecessary code. When done with that, I'll finish of the code that is needed, designs that still need working and add some stuff here and there and launch it with a blog and maybe even a trailer.

In any case, that is a quick update of what I have been doing.
Will hopefully post some info on the project before this blog attracts more dust!

All Kinds of News

(Dusting off the blog)

Well it has been a while since I have posted anything here, so what have I been up to and what is to come?

On the machinima side of things it is not really active at all lately. I have no real inspiration to make any machinima even though I have some ideas. When the inspiration hits, ill be making some, whenever that is. There might be one for my upcoming SL product, but will see. Read more below.

Second Life news, I turned six years old on Tuesday. Can you believe it, a whole six years that I have been on Second Life, although you can really count Second Life years like dog years. Thinking back even 3 years feels like another lifetime, probably with the fact that Second Life changes so fast.

On the topic of Second Life, I am working on a new product that I hope will be finished soon. It is once again a communication system, but this one have several twists to it that I am hoping is the start of something bigger. It uses a lot of methods that I haven't worked with before, so it is a constant learn and design cycle.

Other than that I played through the Mass Effect 3 Extended DLC for the ending and I have to say... wow. That ending is the type of ending everyone that knows Bioware expects from them and I am happy with how they ended it. Of course there is still some people not happy with it, but I am seeing a lot more people praising it than with the original ending.

I will post updates about the product when I have an idea when it will be released and I might make a post with more detail and my opinion to Mass Effect 3's ending.


Mass Effect 3 Tribute

Well it has been a long time since I released any machinima, but today I break that silence.

After hearing Malukah's beautiful song and recently completing Mass Effect 3 (yup, that's why I have been so quiet on the blog), I just had to make a tribute to this amazing series. Since Mass Effect, this series has shown a new type of RPG with an amazing story and a galaxy filled with detailed lore.

This tribute shows my Shepard and his story. It has been an amazing run from the first Mass Effect, with some funny moments that made me laugh so hard, emotional moments that made me tear up, decisions that I regret making and adrenalin filled moments that just made me want to kick some organic and synthetic behinds! It was truely a series I enjoyed every moment off (yes, even scanning every planet and reading it's details) and even if it makes me sad to see it come to an end, it was an honor to play it all the way through from the first Mass Effect.

The song used in the machinima is called Reignite by Malukah and if you haven't heard about Malukah yet then now is the time! She is an amazing music artist with a beautiful voice that did several covers of Skyrim songs which is where I first heard her voice. Her latest song is the one I used in my machinima and it really made the machinima, while at the same time honouring Mass Effect in a great way! Be sure to check out her channel and also check out the original Reignite video by her.

I know there is a great amount of controversy about the ending which I mostly do not agree on, but Bioware is working on a Extended DLC to add a bit more to the ending which will be interesting to see. There was also the issue with the face import from Mass Effect 2 which ended up with me waiting a month for a patch after I got it before starting to play. Sadly this is an issue with a lot of games these days, releasing them before they are ready.

In any case, overall I loved the series and it was truly one of the best game series that I have ever played. Big thanks goes out to Bioware for creating this galaxy filled with characters I fell in love with. Also thanks to Microsoft for publishing the first game and EA for publishing the second and third game.

Note: This video contains spoilers, so if you are playing the game or want to in the future and prefer not to have it spoiled, it is better if you do not watch this.


Doorec Released!

Here we go! As mentioned less than 24 hours ago, I am launching another product that I have been working on, this one called Doorec.

Doorec is a security door system using cards to gain access that was designed for the build I am busy with and decided to expand it in such a way that it can be sold. It has several features such as deciding who gets cards (Public, Group, Names), who has authorization to change card holder's clearance (Group,Names), set custom area names and much more!

There is a swinging door, double swinging door, sliding door and corner slide door, the last one being a door I created some time ago using just one prim and a unique way of opening. All these doors can be set-up to custom area names, change clearance level from 0 - 10, set-up a timer for auto-close or disable it all together and change between four different textures. These doors is also Mod, so feel free to add your own texture.

The cards themselves have the ability to display what clearance they have to their owner with the ability to add their own picture, change the card name and resize it. Anyone on the authorization list gets a different menu with the ability to change the clearance levels of the areas. Meaning that authorized people can click the card while the owner is wearing it and change the clearance fast and easy.

For a full features list and more information, head on over to the Marketplace Listing! Enjoy!

New Product!

Yes I know this blog has been quiet for a while, but I am here now and I brought a little something something with me, one of the stuff that has been keeping me busy this last while.

Introducing Teporial, a teleporter to make moving from one point to another in your region so much easier. I designed Teporial for my own use a long time ago and over time I improved the code, added features, changed teleportation methods to what works better and now we have Teporial.

It also features my attempt in creating a bit more of a "realistic" method of teleporting. This is done by beams on the sides that charge up after you selected your destination. The beams will glow brighter, and at the peek of its speed it will teleport you to your destination, followed with the beams glowing less and slowing down to a stop.
I also decided to include a one prim pad for anyone that prefer to save prims.

The access menu will allow you to select between public, group or specific names who can teleport to the Teporial your setting up. Also a sector setting will allow you to "group" Teporials together, meaning any Teporial with the same name will be able to teleport to each other, making it easy to setup Teporials for different areas of your region.

For more information, animated image on how it looks and all the features , be sure to check out the Marketplace Listing.

Also I will be releasing another product hopefully today, so keep your eyes on this blog.

EDIT: 100th post on this blog! Whooooooooo!

KONY 2012

Well the latest video from Invisible Children has hit the Internet with storm with over 9 million views in 2 days. So what is it all about? Well to quote their video description:

"KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice." 

And who exactly is this Joseph Kony? He is an Ugandan guerrilla group leader that is head of the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) that does what he please for power. The LRA have been accused of murder, abduction, mutilation, sexual enslavement and forcing children to fight for them. And all of that has been since around 1986!

Here is the latest video from Invisible children, that explain exactly who Joseph Kony is and how you can make a difference! This is well worth 30 minutes of your time!

I heard there is already several blogs jumping up against Invisible Children and what they want to achieve. You can judge for yourself what you think of it, but I for one support what Invisible Children is trying to achieve. There is today, at exactly this moment, young girls used as sex slaves and boys used as soldiers. Can you really look at your young sister, brother, cousin, daughter, son, nephew or niece, and say you do not care?

Spread this video, talk to everyone and make sure everyone know who Joseph Kony is!

Scientist Salarian Reaction

So with Mass Effect 3 only a few days away, I remembered I had a recording of where Mordin is singing Scientist Salarian. When watching it, I saw the hilarious reaction my game's Shepard had when Mordin stopped singing, and as suggested, uploading that image and posting it here. Enjoy!

Scientist Salarian - Shepard not impressed...
[Shepard] Mordin... just don't...

For in case you never saw Mordin sing Scientist Salarian, here is a Youtube link, or if you haven't yet, go play Mass Effect 1 and 2!

Still here!

I know it has been very quiet on this blog for a while, but I just want to say that I am still here!

I am currently working on a build in Second Life that I wanted to have done a long time ago. It's taking some time since I am creating most of the furniture, items, animations and more that I need, but it is getting there slowly and I will hopefully have it up and running soon-ish.

Just wanted to throw a small update here, I will have more news soon!

Skyrim: Lack of difficulty in RPG elements – my opinion.

After playing Skyrim for some time, here is my opinion about the lack of difficulty concerning RPG elements like quests and map markers, puzzles, crafting and more. This is one long post!

Greetings all.

Skyrim is a great game, and since its announcement I was looking forward to it till the day of the launch. Although it had its share of problems, some more major than other; it’s still fun to play and with the latest patches, the performance is even getting better and better. There is just one issue that keep tugging at me while I play Skyrim, how easy some RPG elements are. This has been talked about before, but here is my opinion.

I am going to use Morrowind as the main example here as it fits what I am talking about, and is part of the same series. A lot of people that have played Morrowind will tell you, including me, that Morrowind was a lot more immersive than Skyrim. Yes, Skyrim’s graphics are better and the game play (for example Duel Wielding) is a welcome addition, but it lacked the RPG elements that RPG’s are all about.

One of the main things that always bother me is the map markers. For example, you will get a quest to find clues about a Dark Elf’s past, but instead that you are left to look all over Skyrim for clues, you get a waypoint directing you straight to where to find information. To compare to Morrowind, when you first start the game and have to go to the town of Balmora, you’re not even shown where it is (unless you look on your physical map, the in-game map didn’t even show you until you reached it). The best thing to do is to ask local NPC’s then where it is and they will either tell you who to ask or direct you where to walk. There was nothing like map markers in Morrowind, and you had to depend on the description of NPC’s to figure out where a certain person, town, house or item is.

The same goes for when you go into a dungeon or house. Let’s say you have to find a specific item but you want to do it with stealth instead of killing everyone. You sneak throughout the house, looking in rooms and even risking it in some guarded rooms for in case it is there. In Skyrim, you are pointed directly to the item, making it a lot easier with not even bothering with the rooms you know it isn’t in.

I remember the quest from the Balmora, where you are sent to find a Dwemer Cube located in a Dwemer ruin east of Balmora. I eventually killed everything in that ruin and still couldn’t find the item, until finally, I saw a room I missed and found the item in there. Although I wasted hours looking for it, I felt really good in the end that I found it. Now all satisfaction you get with Skyrim is that you can understand how to follow a map marker.

Another example is in Skyrim(not going to mention a lot for in case I spoil anything), is a quest where you have to find a murderer and you have to investigate who did it. Instead of getting the option to choose who did it and by that maybe false accusing someone, you only get one reply saying who it is. For anyone that did not figure it out by then, your character knew more than you did about that, which in an RPG is a big flaw.

One option to fix the map markers is by basically just turning them off in the journal system for Skyrim, but sadly that is not really an option, because when you turn a map marker off, you are lost. There is no option to ask a NPC for directions (for specific people or places) and the amount of information you get from the NPC giving you the quest is limited, only saying the basics, with the directions being replaced by map markers. All Bethesda had to do is give more information, like describing where the ruin/house/dungeon is located, for example West of Riften, where you can then use your physical map, ask directions or look at the town signs to find Riften and then look for the location west of it. Although this takes longer, it is a lot more immersive and a lot more satisfying when you find it.

Then there are the puzzles. Morrowind did not really have detailed puzzles, so I am happy for the Skyrim ones. Sadly, Bethesda seemed to have thought the circular doors will be too difficult for people to figure out so they showed exactly how to do it in the 20min game play videos that was released before Skyrim came out. Anyone that was hyped up about Skyrim wanted to see more and watched the game play videos, in turn spoiling one of the main puzzles of the game. There are some other puzzles I have seen so far in the game, and some are smart, but still not close to anything challenging. One thing that is a nice addition is the treasure maps, although some of them are way too easy.

Something mentioned by a friend of mine is the journal system. What happened to the detailed descriptions? All you get now is a very brief description of the quest that barely scrape what was explained of the quest, with the targets being more a bullet point system than information. The old Morrowind journal (improved with the expansion packs) description was detailed, entertaining to read, and if you wanted even more information you could get the dialog of the person that gave the quest.

Crafting is something new to the Elder Scrolls series and something I was really looking forward to in Skyrim. I do enjoy it, but it could have been so much more. Crafting armour for example, you are showed exactly what you can craft and the same goes for cooking. The only one that seem to have done it right is the making of potions, where you only discover after making the potion how to make it, or if you find some recipes around the world. This should have been done for all the crafting, needing you to find out how to make something with certain items/ingredients by means of trying different methods or finding recipes/books explaining it. I was really disappointed seeing everything listed on the cooking menu after finding the book “Uncommon Taste” and thinking if I have right ingredients, I have to manually select them and see what happens.

I have been trying to understand why Bethesda decided to make this so easy and one of the reasons in conversations with other Elder Scrolls players that always come up is... mass market. I have to agree with it, but I do not get why they did it. People love a challenge, which is why we buy a game with the tag of Role Playing Game. We enjoy looking for more powerful items, figuring out puzzles and spending hours on a game, sometimes even with pen and paper on our desk to take notes off riddles or puzzle hints.

If Bethesda was worried that people will get bored of the game if they have to spend too much time looking for something, they were worried about the wrong thing. The game is tagged as a RPG, and everyone that buy it knows it’s a RPG, knowing that is isn’t going to take 5 minutes to complete a quest, 7 hours to complete the game or have everything spoon fed... although the latter seems true in Skyrim.

To improve the experience for the map markers and information, one thing to do is mods. With the Creation Kits, more information can be added to the dialog topics and map markers can be removed. The only problem with that is it won’t be the original voice actors. The puzzles, journal system and crafting I am sure is going to see changed in the near future by the modding community.

It would be great if Bethesda included it with their next expansion, increasing the information you get for quests, add directions options and making the puzzles a bit more difficult. They could still keep the map markers, but at least make the game playable for anyone that think the map markers is making it way to easy.

To conclude, Skyrim feels like there is no challenge for the mind. The only skill involved is to know what to spend your perks and gold on to make your character as powerful as it can be to defeat the next monster, which really isn’t that hard. I enjoy looking for rumours told by NPC’s, figuring out riddles, puzzles for old treasures and looking for lost items. Sadly, in Skyrim, you will just be pointed toward the “lost” item.

I love the game and the series, it is just sad to see it go this way. I will leave you with this quote from a friend of mine concerning the map markers: “GPS did not exist back in that time, why do we have it?”

I have posted this on the Bethesda Forums as well.

TPAD Update!

Well it has been pretty quiet on this blog lately, with the last post being the protest against SOPA, which seem to be shelved for now, woohoo! Lets hope it stays that way.

In other news, I updated an 2009 product of mine called TPAD, a Dial Home Device for the Alteran Stargate Network created by Alpha Fox for Second Life. The difference between TPAD and the other DHD's that can be found in-world is that TPAD has a much lower prim usage, 5/6 prims, compared to the 30 - 50 prim DHD's.

I recently decided to update it to look and work better. I have changed to include a crystal sculpt map located under the DHD and made three different DHD types named Industrial, Advanced and Stone. The Advanced version has a touch indicator that indicates where you have just clicked. Overall the code has been optimized big time with a script that works better and faster than before and also an automatic updater is included now.

The TPAD DHD can be found on the Marketplace! Enjoy!

Joining The Strike Against SOPA & PIPA

Tomorrow Nocater will be joining the internet strike against SOPA & PIPA and will not be reachable.

Don't know what it is? Well better than me trying to put it exactly in words, here is a video that explains it all.

For anyone that can't watch the video, head on over to the article by for more information.

Like you can see, this can cause real damage to everything you ever loved about the internet. Several websites and communities are in danger of this, and freedom of speech as we know it on the internet will become something of the past.

If you never heard about SOPA or PIPA, do not feel to bad, the media has been keeping it very quiet since several media companies support it. What better way to get what they want than to keep everyone in the dark?

Well tomorrow, the 18th of January, is the day the internet makes a stand. Reddit and Wikipedia is planning to black out for most/all day and Google is planning a homepage protest to let everyone know about SOPA and PIPA. There is several more websites making a stand tomorrow, and so will Nocater.

If you would like more information and how this will affect you, join the fight and even censor your own website, head on over to

Join the fight tomorrow and protect the internet we all love and enjoy!