News, site updates, and announcements for Cyrodiil.ru website.
Arwen's Forums - A forum by Arwen dedicated to gaming and other activities
August 27 2017
After a long period of inactivity I restore the 2009 version of Tameriel Chronicles website (formerly Cyrodiil Chronicles, formerly Igiss Morrowind Pages) which dates back from 2003.
This website lasted for more than six years and and became, for a time, an important part of my life and my gaming activities. Those pages saw exciting events and bitter failures, dramatic traffic increases and loads of amateur writing. They were home for unique features like Elder Scrolls cartography and Morrowind mods of my making.
They keep memories of my distant years of studies, getting my first job and playing tons of games for thousands of hours. The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind was my favorite. I enjoyed Oblivion a lot, and Skyrim not quite so much, but I never got to admire any of those as much as I admired Morrowind. This love will last.
After Cyrodiil Chronicles, I moved to other projects, which included Discovery forums and Discovery mod for Freelancer, which grew to become the biggest Freelancer mod in existence. Later, as political activities and full-time job took over most of my time, I quit the modding scene. I am now working as a game designer and developing my skills as a game writer, and secretly playing The Elder Scrolls Online as a young Bosmer girl trying to find her way into the the hills and townships of Vvardenfell.
This website will not be updated with new content, but I will keep it alive as long as it's humanly (and elvenly) possible.
December 25 2009
Merry Christmas, and New Year wishes
The next year is anticipated as one to bring us more news on the next The Elder Scrolls franchise incarnation. Will those hopes come true? Even if not, there certainly will be more news on what Bethesda and ZeniMax Online are working on.
Meanwhile, guardian.co.uk website posted their top 50 games of decade in their gaming blog. There are three Bethesda titles in the list: Fallout 3 (#3), Oblivion (#16) and Morrowind (#22). Morrowind appears to be right between GTA 3 and GTA 4. Neat choice.
On our forums, there is an interesting post about a new Oblivion total conversion mod currently in development: The Middle-Earth Roleplaying (MERP) modification. Developers presented a number of cool-looking screenshots and videos; they are currently looking for more modders to accomplish their ambitions plans. Creating a landmass 7 times larger than Cyrodiil is certainly not an easy task.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our readers and the rest of the world, and finally, to whom it may concern: let us know more about TES V someday!
Posted by Igiss @12/25/2009
November 22 2009
The Infernal City released in two days, related interview posted on BethBlog
Release of the first Elder Scrolls novel, The Infernal City by Greg Keyes, is expected in two days from now, on November 24. The book will be available both at bookstores and for digital download.
Meanwhile, BethBlog has recently posted an interview with the writer. Greg Keyes talks about his past works and about the process of writing of The Infernal City. According to the interview, two senior designers of Bethesda, Kurt Kuhlman and Bruce Nesmith, participated in the storyline's creation. Among other interesting facts, Keyes mentions that he used fan sites, notably The Imperial Library, to study Elder Scrolls lore. He also confirmed that the second Elder Scrolls book is on the way.
Posted by Igiss @11/22/2009
October 11 2009
The Elder Scrolls speculations, TES novel, Tamriel Chronicles, and more
The site did not have any news or updates for quite a long time now. I am busy with a large gaming project, Discovery mod for Freelancer, and no particularly important news came from Bethesda these days. However, I did finally complete the main quest of Oblivion earlier this year, and after that... well, you can guess, got back to playing Morrowind. The 7-year-old game still looks more immersive and visually appealing (with FPS Optimizer turned on), although I won't deny beauties of Oblivion architecture that I finally had a chance to see in full detail.
Despite the lack of any confirmed news on the next Elder Scrolls game, multiple interviews and blog posts of Bethesda employees had raised a vast number of rumors and speculations. Some of the more exciting and trustworthy are the rumors on an Elder Scrolls online game being produced by ZeniMax Online Studio headed by Matt Firor, who worked in the multiplayer gaming space since 1987 and was a producer in Mythic Entertainment all the way since the company's foundation in 1995. He produced most of the Mythic's titles developed during this time, including a successful MMORPG Dark Ages of Camelot which is still live after 8 years since its release. In 2007, he was hired to head ZeniMax Online and is currently working on an unannounced project. Additionally, the domain name ElderScrollsOnline.com was purchased by ZeniMax according to sources like endsights.com and UESP.net, although the whois information on the domain now has enabled privacy and does not list any information on the actual owner, and the list of domains that use ns1.zenimax.com as a nameserver lacks any names related to TES online games as well. The company took care to remove all what should be hidden from our curious eyes, which is possibly better for us gamers: official announcements are far more trustworthy than vague rumors.
In any case, simple role-playing mechanics, vast worlds, extensive lore, and incredible attention to detail all make The Elder Scrolls a perfect foundation for a massive multiplayer game.
Existence of the next Elder Scrolls single-player game was put in doubt after the recent Todd Howard interview report by bigdownload.com, yet the news that another game of the series is not being developed was later disapproved by Pete Hines in a bethblog.com post. The post also noted that Todd Howard's team is not making any online games, however, reminded once again about ZeniMax Online and its currently unannounced project. Those few points of reliable information on where the next single-player TES game could be located is collected on this page of UESP.net. Earlier this year, Bethesda publishing executive Paul Oughton told gameindustry.biz that the next Elder Scrolls game is going to follow in 2010, without specifying any further details.
Apart from rumors, there are some confirmed developments related to TES universe: the first Elder Scrolls novel, The Infernal City by Greg Keyes, will be released by Del Rey Publishing on November 24, confirmed by this press release from Bethesda and Amazon.com listing. Four decades after the Oblivion Crisis, Tamriel is threatened anew by an ancient and all-consuming evil. It is Umbriel, a floating city that casts a terrifying shadow-for wherever it falls, people die and rise again. The author had previously worked on a number of novelizations, including Babylon 5 (the Psi Corps Trilogy), and Star Wars (the New Jedi Order), plus several non-franchise series. The book is available for pre-order, and the cover image for the book is already available on the net.
On July 9, Bethesda announced that it is now giving away The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall for free to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Elder Scrolls franchise (much like it was done for TES: Arena 5 years ago). To run the game, you need DOS emulator like DOSBox that Bethesda recommends; you can download both games on Bethesda's download page, with installation instructions available next to it. One more guide is available at UESP.net.
Meanwhile, the highly successful Fallout 3 RPG game had a number of downloadable content packs released by Bethesda this year, named Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta. The Mothership, released on August 3, is the fifth and final content pack. All five are distinctly different from Oblivion content packs, being much larger than the latter, and were reviewed as actual game addons.
Last thing to mention: as you probably already noticed, the site is undergoing some changes as well. The focus on Oblivion proved to be quite a lackluster one. A website solely maintained by one person can hardly prosper when the person is not particularly interested in the subject. Ironically, the site had experienced its busiest times prior to Oblivion release and shortly afterwards, and the huge traffic increase even resulted in some financial difficulties for me before a new host was found. Luckily, hosting gets cheaper as years go by, and now the site could certainly handle far more traffic than it acquires.
Hereby I rename the site to Tamriel Chronicles, replacing Cyrodiil Chronicles. The site now has a new tamrielchronicles.com domain name. The old domain still works just as it did before, and I won't give it up cause it grew to be somewhat familiar with our visitors. The wait continues, and I will post occasional news on Bethesda and Elder Scrolls once they appear. Hopefully, the next game (or games?) will take place somewhere in Tamriel, and there won't be a need to rename the Chronicles again.
Posted by Igiss @10/11/2009
December 25 2009
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
2008 has come to an end: a year not that rich with The Elder Scrolls news. Bethesda Softworks was busy with releasing Fallout 3, which proved to be a highly successful game, well deserving its rewards and positive reviews. The third Fallout became an addictive experience not only for die-hard Fallout fans, but also for general role-playing audience. In certain ways, the game was similar to previous Bethesd
a's role-playing installments, which made it even more interesting for The Elder Scrolls fans (myself included).
While there are still no news on the future of Elder Scrolls franchise, success of Fallout 3 is something that ensures the wellbeing of Bethesda and provides what's very much needed to develop large, complex, ambitious and technologically advanced games: money. As for talents, the studio never had trouble with those.
The next year we will be watching for news related to future Elder Scrolls games, as well as general news related to Bethesda. Meanwhile, it is holiday season, and to conclude this year's last news artile: best wishes, Merry Christmas, and have a great New Year!
November 3 2008
Fallout 3 released, Fallout 4 and TES V in 2010-2011?
While Bethesda's Fallout 3 has already hit the shelves in most regions of the world, and performs well with very good reviews, speculations grow on what future projects the studio might be working on.
Todd Howard, Bethesda's executive producer, said the following to Reuters (link not available): "I think it's good for people to miss things. Ten years between 'Fallout' is a bit long, but I think there's this nostalgia factor." In the same interview, Howard also suggests that 3 years is a "good time frame" between games, leading many reviewers to a conclusion that Fallout 4 is scheduled to come in 2011.
Right now there is no officially confirmed information on Bethesda working on either Fallout 4 or TES V. What we can be sure about is that one of those games is already in development, and according to recent Gameindustry.biz article, it is likely to be the next TES game and not Fallout. Gameindustry.biz quotes Paul Oughton, publishing executive for Bethesda:
"At the moment we've got Fallout 3 for this year and potentially there's a new Elder Scrolls title in 2010," said Oughton. "At the moment we're not that interested in the Wii. We're going to stick to PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. We'll continue to pursue three or four titles a year and go for big titles," he said of the company's publishing plans for the future.
Does Bethesda has enough resources to develop two large role-playing games in completely different worlds simultaneously, by two internal teams, or they are going to split the development cycles? Time will tell, and within the next year we are expecting announcements that will bring more light on Bethesda's future plans.
September 27 2008
Cyrodiil Chronicles change hosting
Cyrodiil Chronicles website and forums have changed hosting today. The change will allow more freedom in further website development, as well as providing improved loading times for files and pages of the site.
Host switch was seamless, and no information was lost in transition (including the forum database with most recent posts). You are welcome to continue using our forum and other resources.
April 27 2008
Vampiric chart added, new screenshot contests
A website version of the Vampire Bonuses and Special Abilities chart initially compiled by DM8954 for Cyrodiil Forums is now available. The chart contains a list of bonuses and effects that apply to vampire characters depending on how long they remained without feeding, as well as detailed descriptions of skills that vampires might gain.
To conclude this news post, the Cyrodiil Forums have recently surpassed the 10,000 posts count. Not that this number is impressive compared to larger communities, but we are still growing with new members, threads and initiatives. We will maintain the traditions of independence and ad-free-ness, providing a stable and not too overcrowded place for discussions where every opinion is valued. Stay with us!
January 5 2008
New Oblivion charts and screenshots
The website was significantly updated during the last few days, with several new pages added, and old ones renewed. The first update worth mentioning is the list of Oblivion racial special abilities originally compiled by DM8954 on Cyrodiil Forums. The list contains information on starting bonuses and weaknesses of TES IV races, as well as specific abilities granted to each race.
To recognize the winners of our regular Oblivion screenshot contests held on the forum, Cyrodiil Chronicles now has a special page listing all winners along with their screenshots. Additionally, the page contains the best participating screenshots that did not win in their nomination.
December 22 2007
Winter news and updates
2007 is almost over. This year was rich with TES IV console releases, with three more coming in the last 3 months. On October 16, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion® Game of the Year Edition (GotY) for PlayStation 3 was shipped to US retailers. On the same day, shipping of Shivering Isles for XBox 360 has started. The retail disc of Shivering Isles for 360 includes the Knights of the Nine downloadable content as well as the expansion itself. As for PS3 GotY release, it includes Shivering Isles, Knights of the Nine, and the original game. The standalone edition of Shivering Isles expansion for PlayStation 3, shipped on November 20, is probably the last The Elder Scrolls IV release in America.
In October, the last official plugin for Morrowind became available for download. Named Fighter's Stronghold, the plugin adds a large full-detailed castle located in the Colovian Highlands west of Chorrol with many new NPCs and interior locations to explore. Fighter's Stronghold is available from OblivionDownloads.com for $1,89.
We continue to publish Oblivion-related materials with an extensive chart of Oblivion standard Race Starting Attributes and Skill Bonuses by DM8954 that contains all starting attributes for males and females of each Oblivion race, as well as starting skill bonuses available for each race.
Have a great time playing diverse and exciting games during the Winter holidays. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
September 9 2007
Autumn news and updates - discuss on the forums
Since September 11, TES IV: Oblivion GOTY edition for PC and Xbox 360 is available from stores in North America. See news article below (August 26) to know more details about what the package contains. All details, including prices, were confirmed, with one exception: GOTY for PlayStation 3 will be available no earlier than October 2007. You can see the boxshot for PS3 version on the picture to the left.
October will see one more console release from Bethesda. Since March 26, The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles expansion was accessible for Xbox 360 users via Xbox Live! for $30 (2400 Microsoft points). According to the official press release that you can read here, the expansion for Xbox 360 will now be released at retail. The retail disc will also include Knights of the Nine addon. Price tag will be the same as on Live! ($30).
Today, Cyrodiil Forums website begins publishing extensive charts related to skills and attributes of Oblivion characters. The charts were originally compiled by DM8954 on the Cyrodiil Forums. The Chart of Oblivion Skills and Attributes contains all skills of Oblivion characters, and all related attributes. Be sure not to miss the other charts and lists that will soon follow.
August 26 2007
Oblivion Game of the Year Edition coming soon
Summer'2007 was not too rich with Oblivion-related news. With one significant exception: Oblivion Game of the Year (GOTY) edition was announced by Bethesda on July 9.
GOTY edition will include Oblivion itself, Knights of the Nine quest line, and TES IV: Shivering Isles expansion. Downloadable content items will not be included. The new edition will be available on September 10 for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360. According to Bethesda, prices are going to be $49,99 for PC, $59,99 for XBox 360 and PlayStation 3. You may read the official press release here.
The Links section of this website was updated today, with multiple dead links removed, and a few new ones added. It appears that no less than one third of Oblivion fansites, blogs and forums that were created before or shortly after game release are now gone, and most of the others were not updated for a year or more. As for Cyrodiil Chronicles, we will still be posting TES-related news and maintain our forums, which are well alive and growing.
Official price and release date of Shivering Isles
Official price and release date of Shivering Isles expansion for TES IV: Oblivion were announced in the recent fan interview on Elderscrolls.com forums. Answering questions of the fans, Todd Howard (Bethesda Softworks) said that the expansion will be released both for PC and Xbox Live! on March 27. Price for both PC and Xbox 360 versions will be $30. Some time earlier Bethesda confirmed that Oblivion for PlayStation 3 will be released on March 20, however, fate of PS3 version of Shivering Isles remains unknown.
For more information, read the original fan interview here.
February 28 2007
Shivering Isles: the first and last official Oblivion expansion
In a recent interview for Official Xbox Magazine Pete Hines confirmed that Shivering Isles, the first full-scale expansion for TES IV: Oblivion, will also be the last one that Bethesda Softworks will be making. In the near future the studio is going to concentrate on Fallout III, the highly anticipated sequel to one of the most well-known RP franchises of the 90th. The game was announced long ago, but no information was available except for the fact that Bethesda will be developing it; we might expect some secrets to be revealed this spring.
However, Bethesda will still be making official plugins for Oblivion - even after Shivering Isles release.
The expansion was announced on January 18 2007; it will feature a whole new Oblivion plane called Shivering Isles, home of Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. In addition to new lands to explore, Shivering Isles will add more than a dozen new creatures, new items and spells. Release date of expansion pack is rumored to be March 23 2007 (both PC and Xbox 360 versions), though date was not yet officially confirmed.
Meanwhile, TES IV: Oblivion for Sony PlayStation 3 that was scheduled for release in the end of last year and delayed (much like original Oblivion last year) will be available in stores on March 20.
December 24 2006
Cyrodiil Forums are back, Christmas and New Year time!
Cyrodiil Forums are back, now running on a new board engine. All previous user accounts, forums, topics and posts still remain, so in general the transition was successful. Some things did go wrong, however. These are simple instructions that you should follow to get back to posting on our board.
1) All passwords were reset, so you won't be able to log in with your old pass. Use Password reminder to set up a new password.
2) All posts and texts with hyperlinks are now displayed with wrong HTML formatting. This shouldn't be much of a problem, but if there were links or codes in your signature, you should edit it as soon as possible. If you wish some of your previous posts to have working links, contact moderators or edit them yourself.
Looks and features of the new board will improve in future, and your advice on what to improve is most welcome.
And, of course, Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year to all our visitors! Don't forget about Cyrodiil Chronicles in 2007, we will be expecting you back for more.
November 19 2006
Wii and PlayStation 3 launched in U.S. - discuss on the forums
Launch of next-generation consoles is number one gaming news nowadays. While Microsoft began to sell their next-generation console (Xbox 360) a year ago, Sony and Nintendo are presenting their answer this November. Sony PlayStation 3 sales opened in Japan on November 11, U.S. launch took place on November 17. Those lucky enough to get non-bundle packages will have to pay $500 or $600 for different versions of the console.
Nintendo Wii costs $250 and will be available in North America since today, November 19. Japanese launch of Wii is scheduled on December 2, European launch on December 8.
Oblivion could be one of the launch titles for PS3, but Bethesda needed more time to complete the new version and delayed release until Q1 2006. TES IV for PlayStation 3 will probably be available about the same time when the console will hit European stores, which is expected next spring.
November 15 2006
Many news following the long silence
Unfortunately, I was unable to update the site for the last several months due to various real life issues. I should admit that one of those issues was lack of interest in Oblivion; I played Oblivion much less than Morrowind and never got enough interested to study the deeper parts of the game, like it was with TES III. However, almost contrary to my efforts, our forums are still quite busy with almost 6 thousand posts. Since this site is still visited and since forums are active, it seemed a fair decision to get back to updating the news, even though I will be hardly able to write more about various aspects of the game itself. If you could help with that - please mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Those months were quite rich with various Oblivion news that we missed. You most surely know the most important of those, but a brief reminder is never out of place. First of all, an addon pack called Knights of the Nine will be available for PC on December 4. It will contain new faction (Knights of the Nine) and quests for this faction, new dungeons, monsters, NPCs, and items. Even though retail version of Knights will include all buyable mods previously released by Bethesda, this addon is hard to compare with TES III expansion packs that had large new locations to explore. Hopefully Bethesda will release a full-scale expansion sometime later in 2007-2008.
Knights of the Nine will be included in PlayStation 3 version of Oblivion that will be released in Q1 2007 (according to latest information available). Next generation console by Sony is enjoying its "worldwide launch" these weeks, with 100 thousand units available in Japan, 400 thousand more in U.S. and... well, all other parts of the world will have to wait until next spring.
Meanwhile, Oblivion has recieved its first Game of the Year awards. Like everyone predicted, few if any RPGs could compete TES IV this year, so awards don't come unexpected. Among other news - European versions of 1.1.511 patch available, more buyable plugins released by Bethesda (now also available for Xbox Live! users from Europe), and Oblivion-themed game being developed for PlayStation Portable (PSP).
June 14 2006
INI Tweaks article posted, new page with Oblivion downloads available
Article on Oblivion configuration file (Oblivion.ini) tweaks was posted today, and though it's not yet complete, it already contains the most important tweaks that help to improve game performance and enable several important features. Read current version here.
Oblivion Downloads is another new Cyrodiil Chronicles page published today. It contains download links for official downloads, links to websites providing useful 3rd party software for Oblivion, and unmodded Oblivion.ini files which might be needed to restore playable values after unsuccessful modifications.
June 13 2006
Oblivion Mods page updated
As you might remember, Oblivion Mods page of this site was permanently "under construction" for the last several months. Although creating a whole modding section for Cyrodiil Chronicles will take much more time than updating one page, this one page is ready. Humble beginnings! Modding Basics article posted on main Mods page contains beginning knowledge on usage and creation of Oblivion plugins.
Image hotlinks for Cyrodiil Chronicles are active again, which should be good news for websites that included our button for affiliation purposes: now buttons and other image links work fine.
June 12 2006
Cyrodiil Chronicles site updates, Arwen's Oblivion Journal online!
I've posted a couple of new pages for Cyrodiil Chronicles. First is Oblivion Essential Knowledge guide, which should help to resolve the most common technical problems. The guide also contains full list of Oblivion hotkeys, including undocumented keys, and printable .doc version of the same list. Second new page is a collection of modding links - as you might guess, it contains modding websites: general modding resources, mod hosting sites and home pages for the most notable modding studios or modding projects. Main Links page was also updated, with many new links added - and many dead ones removed.
More updates await - including detailed description of INI tweaks and other performance/graphic tweaks in Oblivion, description of Oblivion races, and possibly more content on Oblivion mods.
To continue with good news, I'd like to mention that Arwen has started a new journal. You might remember her great Morrowind journal, called Trials of a Clueless Wood Elf, that was quite popular in early TES III days. New journal, Arwen's Oblivion Journal, is all about Oblivion. In addition to adventures of the semi-clueless wood elf herself, the Journal includes useful Oblivion tips and a great selection of mods that Arwen carefully chose.
June 8 2006
Oblivion 1.1 patch released
On June 6 final version of the first Oblivion patch was released; beta version of the same patch was available since May 2. Right now beta patch is no longer available for download, and its installation is not necessary for the full version.
The new patch updates Oblivion to version 1.1.511. Two versions of this patch are available: one for US version of the game, and one for UK/European/Australian version. Both of them are not compatible with versions purchased from Direct2Drive, localized versions of TES IV, and (fortunately) illegal copies of the game with copy protection removed. You can download both versions of the file from Elderscrolls.com download page (1,6 Mb).
The patch corrects a number of bugs and quest errors that were reported during the recent weeks. Among most important changes - improved performance for NVidia SLI and ATI Crossfire, Very Low Detail setting for low-end GeForce FX video cards, and important plugin-related fixes. Read complete patch changelog here, it's rather impressive for 1,6 Mb package.
Same patch is available from Xbox Live! for Xbox 360 users since June 7.
June 2 2006
First summer update
And definitely not the last one.
Yesterday the fifth Oblivion official plugin was announced - Mehrunes' Razor. The Razor was present in Morrowind as well, but now this daedric item will become the most fearsome of all TES IV weaponry, capable of killing most opponents in one hit. The price for the new mod will be about $3, which is higher than for all other paid mods from Bethesda (although it seems that Razor will be the smallest of them in terms of file size).
But sometimes it's not file size that matters... Mehrunes' Razor will feature the largest and most sophisticated dungeon in Oblivion, as well as a quest featuring a powerful mage willing to get the Razor for his own evil purposes. Players, of course, will have a chance to overtake the weapon for their own purposes, possibly even more sinister. You will be able to get the plugin from http://obliviondownloads.com/ or Xbox Live! when it's ready, which should be soon enough.
My exams are over and passed quite successful, so now I'll have more time to update the website. Moreover, soon I'll finally get the game itself, so you should expect some brand new content. Come back soon! And don't forget about our forums.
May 7 2006
Questionnaire about The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Barbaros Bostan (Marmaros University, Turkey) is writing a Ph.D thesis on "Interactivity in Virtual Environments" subject and chose TES IV: Oblivion as a case study. You may help in collecting data by filling this questionnaire about interactivity in Oblivion.
May 5 2006
Politician comments on Oblivion re-rating; beta patch available
California Assemblyman Leland Yee, author of last year's notorious game bill that was eventually blocked by a California judge, issued a press release accusing Take-Two and ESRB of decieving parents. According to Yee, "the ESRB again has failed our parents and clearly has shown they cannot police themselves. Plain and simply, the current rating system is drastically flawed and here is yet another reason why we need legislation to assist parents and protect children." Seems that politicians will succeed in using Oblivion re-rating story for their own purposes even before each unsold copy of TES IV will get a "Mature" sticker.
Something I missed during all this re-rating mess: several days ago Bethesda released first beta patch for Oblivion featuring quite a lot of useful improvements. Read patch notes on this page and download the file here (file size is 1,22 Mb). Release date for final version of the patch was not announced yet. Current version of the patch is compatible with any English version of Oblivion, except for copies purchased from Direct2Drive.
May 4 2006
Oblivion rating changed from Teen to Mature
Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has issued a parental advisory yesterday noting that The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (both PC and Xbox 360) versions were re-rated. New rating is Mature (M, 17+) instead of Teen (T, 13+).
According to ESRB announcement, "the content causing the ESRB to change the rating involves more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating, as well as the presence of a locked-out art file or "skin" that, if accessed through a thirdparty modification to the PC version of the game, allows the user to play with topless versions of female characters... In line with its mission to inform consumers about the age-suitability and content of computer and video games, this ESRB Parent Advisory has been issued to ensure that parents who have purchased this game are immediately notified of the rating change. Parents should also know that a patch for the PC version of the game that disables access to the file with the topless skin will be made available shortly."
Re-ratings are rare for ESRB - the last notable case was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, re-rated last year due to discovery in the PC and and PS2 versions a hidden minigame with sexual content that could be unlocked (on the PC version) with a modification called Hot Coffee. Nudity cannot be unlocked in Xbox 360 version of Oblivion, but gore and violence issues regard both PC and console versions. PC version will carry an additional content descriptor for Nudity, until a new version of the game is issued where access to questionable content will be blocked. Bethesda is also obliged to release a patch that blocks access to topless female meshes, and today's press release from the developer confirmed that this patch will soon be available.
Current content descriptors - Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Language, and Use of Alcohol - will remain. However, ESRB stated that video tape provided by Bethesda several months before the game release understated the detail and intensity of the blood and gore available in final version of Oblivion. Press release issued by Bethesda has a different explanation: "With regard to violence, Bethesda advised the ESRB during the ratings process that violence and blood effects were "frequent" in the game - checking the box on the form that is the maximum warning. We further advised that the game contained occasional torture, vulgar acts, and gore. We gave accurate answers and descriptions about the type and frequency of violence that appears in the game."
Regarding nudity, same press release says that "Bethesda didn't create a game with nudity and does not intend that nudity appear in Oblivion... Bethesda can not control tampering with Oblivion by third parties." Like in GTA: Hot Coffee case, mods became target for ESRB investigation, though unlike GTA, questionable content seems to have been added to the game by modification, not exactly unlocked. Fact that Xbox 360 version got a new rating too proves that topless females were not exactly the main reason for Board's actions. This is, however, a precedent that might force some publishers (and developers) to make games less moddable. As everyone knows, even now not many developers care about modding tools for their games. After this case, situation surely won't improve, cause lack of mods will guarantee safer rating and safer profits.
As for profits, Take-Two (to be precise, its subsidiary 2K Games that co-publishes Oblivion with Bethesda) is not going to lose as much as last year: Mature rating, unlike Adults Only that GTA:SA received, will not force retailers to remove Oblivion from shelves. Moreover, publicity over topless mods that were previously unknown for general public will certainly draw more attention to the game, including attention from teenagers and children that ESRB is theoretically trying to protect.
Read complete version of statement by Bethesda for more details.
May 2 2006
No special news today - a few belated Oblivion reviews from sites that didn't manage to post reviews in time don't count. However, there were some changes on our forums lately - TES IV Hardware & Software forum was added for discussions related to Oblivion system requirements and performance tweaks; several other forums were changed. Most important, I'd like to warn that email@example.com address, that may still be mentioned in some of the site's texts, is no longer valid. If you sent any e-mails to this address during the recent weeks, please re-send to any of my working accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
April 25 2006
The Wizard's Tower available
Third official plugin of three currently announced, The Wizard's Tower, was released by Bethesda yesterday. Price is $1,89 for PC and 150 Live! marketplace points for Xbox 360, which is $1,88 in US (I've heard that this price can be much higher in other regions). You can get the new plugin via Oblivion download site, OblivionDownloads.com, or from Xbox Live! service.
Wizard's Tower that the plugin adds is actually called Frostcrag Spire, located high in Jeral Mountains. In addition to being the highest place in Cyrodiil providing a "breathtaking" view of the province, the tower also features a garden where more than 100 ingredients can be found, and altars for summoning creatures, creating spells and enchanted items. Tower also contains teleports to every Mages Guild of Cyrodiil, and adds new Spell and Recharge vendor to Imperial City.
April 20 2006
More awards, more official plugins
On April 17, The Orrery was released for download, available for Xbox 360 and PC users. Pricing appeared to be exactly as announced before - $1,89 for both versions. More Oblivion reviews were posted on different websites during this week, and the game earned even more avards. Check full list here.
I apologize for lack of website updates, as real life unfortunately got me very busy since the Game was released. Sometime later this is going to improve, and right now you should visit our forums for more.
April 11 2006
1,7 million Oblivions sold
According to Bethesda, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion sold more than 1,7 million copies worldwide, both PC and Xbox 360 versions, in 20 days since it was released. If you are familiar with game selling statistics, you should realize that it is an enormous success that few games ever achieved. If you are not, believe me, it is. Complete press release available from here.
Pricing for The Orrery, a new quest addon scheduled for release next week, was announced not long ago. The modification will cost $1,89 for PC and about $1,88 (150 marketplace points) for Xbox 360, which is really good news, as many were afraid that the new content-rich official addons will cost more than horse armor.
April 6 2006
First official plugin available for purchase
Bethesda Softworks has released first official plugin for Oblivion - Horse Armor Pack. The plugin is not free - PC users may buy it for $1,99; those who own Xbox 360 version of the game will have to pay $2,5. Paid additional content is no surprise for those who followed Oblivion news before game release, as developers promised this feature a while ago.
However doubtful the pricing might seem for a few pieces of horse armor, Bethesda is already preparing two more official modifications with more content. First will be The Orrery, adding a quest about rebuilding an ancient, presumably Dwemer, mechanism; as a reward for unlocking an ancient mystery, players will gain temporary magical powers. Second is Wizard's Tower, a place to call home with many special capabilities that magic-oriented characters will find useful.
Owners of PC version can buy plugins from a new website - http://www.obliviondownloads.com. Xbox 360 users can get new Oblivion content via Xbox Live! service.
If you want more mods for free, follow a new modding thread on our forums maintained by Dark Diva. The thread will list all interesting Oblivion mods that are being created with download links and descriptions; several dozens were already listed. As modders get acquainted to the new CS, many more will surely appear.
March 25 2006
Reviews of Oblivion
As Oblivion is already available in US and many countries of Europe, more and more reviews of the game are being posted on different websites. All those reviews are most positive, giving the game no less than 90% mark - or 9 out of 10. List of all known English reviews to this day, along with links and grade that the game received, can be found in this thread of our Oblivion forum.
March 21 2006
US Release Today, Construction Set available!
Today, on March 21, both PC and Xbox 360 versions of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will be shipped to US stores. Many of those lucky enough are already playing the game; and thousands more are waiting to get it today or during next week. Very soon we'll have lots of both reviews and fan feedback on the game, giving those who cannot buy the game right now (me, for example) more or less objective idea of goods and bads of Oblivion, for no game is ideal - though this one seemed to be closest to ideal. The best, of course, is a chance to check all those reviews yourself.
And yes, Construction Set for Oblivion is now available for download! If you have not installed Oblivion yet, CS will work, but with limited functionality. You can download the file (only 6,3 Mb) from following locations:
http://uni.marfinet.ru/files/Oblivion-Const-Set.exe (may be faster for Eastern Europe)
Bethesda has also opened a new website about CS - TES Contruction Set Wiki. Although the wiki is yet closed for editing or registering new accounts, it already contains lots of useful CS information and tutorials.
March 18 2006
More countdown videos from Bethesda
Download section of Elder Scrolls official website was updated with third and fourth countdown videos. Don't miss next videos, for they are being released every day - until release. Only 2 days remain.
Book Two of "Commentaries on the Mysterious Xarxes" was added to elderscrolls.com fiction section.
Additional note: on Cyrodiil Forums, I've posted preliminary guidelines of mod submission to Cyrodiil Chronicles. If you are interested, you may look though them; suggestions and feedback are welcome.
March 16 2006
Second countdown video and more Xbox 360 screenshots
And it's already time to update: preparing for game launch, Bethesda revealed 3 new Xbox 360 screenshots already available on our Xbox screenshots page, and the second countdown video that you can download from here.
March 15 2006
First Oblivion review, new screenshots and video
While Oblivion has gone gold, Official Xbox Magazine already posted a review of the game in recently published March issue (North America) - and it seems that Elder Scrolls IV really lived up to our expectations! The game got 9,5 out of 10 and Editor's Choice Award in OXM, and few doubt that Oblivion, both PC or Xbox 360 versions, will score less than 9 in other gaming sites and magazines.
Countdown video for TES IV was added to elderscrolls.com download section. Six new Xbox screenshots recently revealed by Bethesda are available on our Xbox 360 Official Screenshots page, some of them look pretty interesting. And, although most of those who are waiting will play the game themselves in a few days from now, new interviews and previews are still being posted on different sites - you may find full list on eldersrolls.com.
You can discuss Oblivion news - and much more - on our new Cyrodiil Forums.
March 14 2006
Cyrodiil Forums come online
While only a few days remain until The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion release, we are glad to announce that our new message board dedicated specially to Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls was brought online today. Old Oblivion forums on Discovery Gaming Community will be closed for posting, and all Oblivion-related activities will soon move to the new board.
Our goal is to create a friendly, helpful and mature The Elder Scrolls community where you will be able to share your knowledge, get answers to most complicated questions and discuss freely both gaming and non-gaming topics.
Cyrodiil.ru restored website was posted on August 27 2017.
Cyrodiil Chronicles website was first published on September 21 2005.
View News History of Igiss Morrowind Pages to find out what was going on in 2003-2005.