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Preview Shivering Isles of Choices

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
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Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

<a href=http://www.1up.com>1Up</a> has posted EXCLUSIVE(!) hands-on <a href=http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3156953>impressions</a> of Shivering Isles, the highly anticipated Oblivion expansion.
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<blockquote>But poke around a little more and you'll run into the apprentice of the sorceress who created the gatekeeper. <u>A little carefully applied speechcraft</u> later...</blockquote>Carefully applies speechcraft? Are you sure?
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<blockquote>Choice figures prominently throughout the expansion. The gate itself even offers you two doors from which to choose. Both lead to Sheogorath...</blockquote>Hmm, decisions, decisions...
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<blockquote>The new Dawnfang sword is also sure to be sought out by many. Get 12 kills with it and it becomes more powerful, leveling up in a sense, but the catch is that it resets every 12 hours with the cycle of the sun. But as the only item in the game that does anything like that, its appeal is undeniable.</blockquote>Indeed. I've already preordered.
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Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.rpgwatch.com">RPG Watch</A>
 

Jed

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Some Game Journalist Hack said:
Choice figures prominently throughout the expansion. The gate itself even offers you two doors from which to choose. Both lead to Sheogorath...
Watch out, VD--if they keep this up, you'll be out of work!
 

Claw

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I assume you mean his work of parodying games and game developers. It's hard to parody a game that is a joke all by itself indeed.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
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Jed said:
Some Game Journalist Hack said:
Choice figures prominently throughout the expansion. The gate itself even offers you two doors from which to choose. Both lead to Sheogorath...
Watch out, VD--if they keep this up, you'll be out of work!
If they add another door - leading to Sheogorath, of course - I'm fucked.
 
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VD, do me a favor and post only parody news from now on. Reality as superseded satire. The lead is particularly bad:

With a string of popular packs, Oblivion set the early example for what can be done with console downloadable content. A diverse collection that covered everything from Horse Armor to the completely integrated quest series in the Knights of the Nine kept fans happily adventuring in the realm of Cyrodiil. But for an expansion pack, developer Bethesda Softworks wanted to step out of the "more of the same" mold and go beyond just adding to its traditional fantasy world of stone castles and verdant forests. Just getting to the new Shivering Isles rips you completely out of the mundane domain of Cyrodiil, to be deposited in Sheogorath, the plane of the Daedric Prince of Madness.

KC said:
"Dawnfang?" :S

Not terribly catchy

The new Dawnfang sword is also sure to be sought out by many. Get 12 kills with it and it becomes more powerful, leveling up in a sense, but the catch is that it resets every 12 hours with the cycle of the sun. But as the only item in the game that does anything like that, its appeal is undeniable.

ITS APPEAL IS UNDENIABLE.
 

Blahblah Talks

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the noodly appendage.
lol at choosing between two doors which both lead to Sheograth. It's like the old Lady and the Tiger puzzle for Vipera.

I've got to say, though, that at least they seem to be trying with this new sword. It's not much, but compared to the rest of Oblivion, it's pretty fucking awesome.
 

Castanova

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If that sword were in the original game, every 12 kills would produce a x2 damage modifier until everything dies just by you looking at it.
 
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IGN has their own HANDS-ONS preview of Shivering Nights 2 or whatever the fuck its called:

Talking to the residents netted quite a few side quests, some of which were particularly cool. In both Bliss and Crucible, I found a special blacksmith that can make new armor and weapons, provided you have the right ingredients. Bliss specializes in light armor and weapons and the material of choice here is amber. Crucible's blacksmith prefers to work with madness ore and can make you some powerful weapons or heavy armor. From my experience, collecting these materials doesn't take very long at all. [No shit, you don't say?]Both materials will randomly appear in chests and can be found from enemy drops. To get amber, you'll want to hunt down one of the new enemies called a Gnarl Tree. Likewise, madness ore is very often carried by the amphibious Grummites.

Madness Ore. Because Sheogorath is mad, you see? Best Writing 2007.

Creating items requires anywhere between one and five pieces of one of the ingredients and can be further bolstered if you find a matrix stone to use during the creation process. I found a claymore matrix that added a drain health effect to our newly crafted weapon of doom. Even though I was playing a thief character with hardly any strength, I was still able to take down just about every enemy I saw in a few swings. The sword wasn't just strong though -- it looked just as cool as it performed with a sweet red outer glow.

AEWSOMES.

One other cool side quest worth mentioning is the museum of oddities. This building in Crucible is actually mostly empty of treasures, but that's where you come in. The caretaker will give you a tour of the few bits of odd things she has collected, such as the ring that will give its bearer the ability to both walk on water and breath water. Nice coupling, eh? There were roughly ten empty cases there that looked like they needed filling which will surely net some interesting rewards.

Couldn't you just craft an item like that?

Once I had my fill of exploring the capital city, I set off to complete Sheogorath's first quest. He didn't tell me much about why he wanted the quest done, but insisted that I find three crystals and put them back on their pedestals and then activate the resonator to get a special temple up-and-running again. This dungeon started out as a standard Oblivion tomb where I fought a series of enemies down a snaking tunnel -- in this case the enemies were Grummites with various equipment. Once the resonator was operational, things got interesting. I won't spoil what happens, but let's just say you get to hold the fate of several men in the palm of your hand.

He doesn't tell you why he wants the quest done, but he goes through a step-by-step process to tell you how to complete it? INNOVATION REDEFINED.
 

Jed

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Vault Dweller said:
Jed said:
Some Game Journalist Hack said:
Choice figures prominently throughout the expansion. The gate itself even offers you two doors from which to choose. Both lead to Sheogorath...
Watch out, VD--if they keep this up, you'll be out of work!
If they add another door - leading to Sheogorath, of course - I'm fucked.
Maybe one of the doors is the Good Door and the other is, of course, the Evil Door? An innovative concept pioneered by BioWare, now refined by Bethesda.
 

Globbi

Augur
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Even though I was playing a thief character with hardly any strength, I was still able to take down just about every enemy I saw in a few swings. The sword wasn't just strong though -- it looked just as cool as it performed with a sweet red outer glow.
Don't you envy him? He plays this game with thief character and kills everything in a few swings. That's an innovation!
 

YourConscience

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Jed said:
Maybe one of the doors is the Good Door and the other is, of course, the Evil Door? An innovative concept pioneered by BioWare, now refined by Bethesda.


No no! It's da red door or da blue door! Blue door will make the game uninstall itself. Red door will make the game install a second copy of oblivion on any computer conected to your computer. Talk of viral marketing!
 

bat_boro

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Globbi said:
Even though I was playing a thief character with hardly any strength, I was still able to take down just about every enemy I saw in a few swings. The sword wasn't just strong though -- it looked just as cool as it performed with a sweet red outer glow.
Don't you envy him? He plays this game with thief character and kills everything in a few swings. That's an innovation!


Wooow, now THAT's called a sense of freedom - you could do whatever you want, no matter your stats!
Innovashun, indeed.

One other cool side quest worth mentioning is the museum of oddities. This building in Crucible is actually mostly empty of treasures, but that's where you come in. The caretaker will give you a tour of the few bits of odd things she has collected, such as the ring that will give its bearer the ability to both walk on water and breath water. Nice coupling, eh? There were roughly ten empty cases there that looked like they needed filling which will surely net some interesting rewards.

Where's the logic in that?
Why do you need to breath under the water when you're walking on it's surfice all the time? :roll:
 

CAH.ODST

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Uhmmm, the IGN preview sounds a lot like TES: Morrowind 2 expansions:

One other cool side quest worth mentioning is the museum of oddities. This building in Crucible is actually mostly empty of treasures, but that's where you come in. The caretaker will give you a tour of the few bits of odd things she has collected, such as the ring that will give its bearer the ability to both walk on water and breath water. Nice coupling, eh? There were roughly ten empty cases there that looked like they needed filling which will surely net some interesting rewards.

The capital city of Morrowind (Mournhold?) in Tribunal had a museum, also an empty one, where you could sell unique items, to earn interesting rewards, known as gold.
I found a special blacksmith that can make new armor and weapons, provided you have the right ingredients. Bliss specializes in light armor and weapons and the material of choice here is amber. Crucible's blacksmith prefers to work with madness ore and can make you some powerful weapons or heavy armor. From my experience, collecting these materials doesn't take very long at all. Both materials will randomly appear in chests and can be found from enemy drops...

Bloodmoon, the second one, had the same thing, a new material, some kind of ice or something, that you could give to a blacksmith to get a piece of armor or a weapon. The only difference I see/remember is that you had to extract the ore from caves and mines. Random loot is a lot more next gen, realist and western looking.
 

YourConscience

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CAH.ODST said:
Bloodmoon, the second one, had the same thing, a new material, some kind of ice or something, that you could give to a blacksmith to get a piece of armor or a weapon. The only difference I see/remember is that you had to extract the ore from caves and mines. Random loot is a lot more next gen, realist and western looking.

Actually, they might have noticed that they had a problem with their leveled monsters and stuff such that players were scared to go into dungeons and meet the monster of boredom. Hence, they wouldn't be able to extract the ore from mines. So they solved it by making the ore available outside of mines as well!

I love logical solutions.
 

franc kaos

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Not to stop the Oblivion bashing because you're all having such fun, but the two doors do lead to different areas in the shivering isle which I believe comes under choice and consequence... Obviously, because this is Oblivion, it doesn't count - jeez.

And the sword that is different, I believe Ultima7 part 2 had something similiar - how lame...

We apologise for this interruption, we now go back to the witty Oblivion bashing...
 

Claw

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franc kaos said:
Not to stop the Oblivion bashing because you're all having such fun, but the two doors do lead to different areas in the shivering isle which I believe comes under choice and consequence...
I already know that. Two cities, you can go to either. It's mind-blowing. What's the point about bolding "and"? They only make sense as pair anyway.


And the sword that is different, I believe Ultima7 part 2 had something similiar - how lame...
The sword isn't terrible by itself, but no reason to kiss Bethesda's feet either. OMG, STOP THE BASHING! THERE IS SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T TOTALLY SUCK)!!!

Besides, the best part about getting the Blackrock Sword in Black Gate - I don't recall any special sword in Serpent Isle - was the process of aquiring it, not admiring your character while swinging it around.
 

Section8

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Fucking Jesus, I'd all but forgotten how soul destroying Oblivion coverage could be.

Bethesda wanted to open up freedom in solving quests to match the open feeling you get roaming the world. So, you're welcome to try to charge in, sword flailing, but the developers let you know this might be a little difficult by having NPCs lead you to watch the gatekeeper handily wipe out a team of knights in plate mail.

Hah. I love that kind of freedom. "Sure! Take any approach you want. However, the only one that will actually succeed is this - [...]" He then goes on to explain that there are a couple of quests that will reward you with something to attack the vulnerabilities of the critter.

Now, is it just me, or does the spontaneous knowledge that "Bethesda wanted to open up freedom in solving quests to match the open feeling you get roaming the world," seem like a strange notion for an idiot game (p)reviewer to deduce of his own volition? Especially with regard to a situation that basically presents the player with a binary choice of "Do these quests first or die."

Of course, the mere mention of the idea Bethesda sends crib sheets with focal points that should be addressed by previewers is certain to bring out the defenders of the gaming media's integrity.

Where's the logic in that?
Why do you need to breath under the water when you're walking on it's surfice all the time?

That's the whole point. It's an oddity. In a curio museum ON THE PLANES OF MADNESS!

--

Anyway, the whole thing just sounds exactly like most of the other shit Bethesda have been selling the kiddies. Extra quest content and pure munchkinism. And as always, the "rewards" the game offers seem to actually detract from the challenge of playing the game, or at best give the player a means to overcome a combat difficulty that is barely tied to any reasonable measure of their combat prowess.

The best thing about that sword that gets trumpeted as "undeniably appealing" is that at least some attempt has been made to differentiate it from the rest of the game's arsenal. But think about it.

The "downside" is that you have to rack up twelve kills every twelve game hours. Which is what you'd be doing anyway. And I'm willing to bet that even at its weakest, it's still uber. The whole point of "cursed" weapons, is that you have to decide whether the downside is worth it, making the choice to use such a weapon a considered grey area decision, instead of a merely stylistic choice.
 

elander_

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This would be the right time for Volourn to say "Bethesda is DEAD" if he was smart.
 

HardCode

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Bethesda has a new slogan taken from FUBU. It's FMBM - For Morons By Morons.
 
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Choice figures prominently throughout the expansion. The gate itself even offers you two doors from which to choose. Both lead to Sheogorath, but depending which you chose you'll either set foot in Mania or Dementia first.

Ok, let's be fair guys, let's not trim down sentences.


As you adventure in both aspects of Sheogorath, completing quests will help you rise in favor with the residents to become that champion.

..for which, you will be notified by "Hail the champion of Shivering Isles!" , then they go back and talk about the mudcrabs.

One of your first tasks from the Prince will be to get the gatekeeper for the realm back up and running.

Before there was a gatekeeper, mundane folks were discouraged from entering by the legend of the Xedilian dungeon. Its riches lured many, who then perished never to be heard from again. With nothing to stop them from coming, mundane adventurers have already shown up there, but the dungeon hasn't seen any action in a long while.

You'll have to help its caretaker get the place back up to snuff again, and in so doing enjoy the wicked delight of getting to take out the adventuring party, Dungeon Keeper-style. With that out of the way, you can get to working with the sorceress to create a new gatekeeper.

I don't get it. Can we just say, kill the gate keeper, then go into a dungeon, kill everything that moves then talk to the caretaker, who will make a new gatekeeper?

Maybe I misunderstood what it says?


Because the expansion features fewer NPCs the team was able to go into more depth with each, fleshing out their personalities more completely, and with that giving them more to say. This figures directly into the quest design that aims to take advantage of these eccentric characters and their unique situations. Their warped psyches present plenty of convoluted, entertaining problems to solve, but it's not a direct attempt to be comedic.

I gave up hope for challenging conversation in Oblivion a long time ago, I assume, there are more conversation lines offered for the NPCs but I will probably just have to click on all and there won't be a way to answer the with the "wrong" reply.

.....From the amount of content on display it's sure to be huge, ...That also means that this expansion will require the hard drive...

Microsoft is happily bouncing all over, rubbing their hands, how much did they pay Bethesda, to make such a wonderful decision to make the XBOX kiddos to buy extra crap for their 360?

Beth, get ready for hate-mails from your new fan group , "WTF I DONT KNOW WHT HARD DRIVE IS< WHY I NEED 1? THIS GAME SUXS" --


"....From the amount of content on display it's sure to be huge..."
,"..... but, for the 30 or so hours of new questing alone, one that will be hard to resist."

That's a MOFking giant. 30 hrs means - 5, if you don't go out picking flowers. I hope I am proved wrong.
 

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