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Paul Smith's Blog

Oblivion patch update finally released
Wed, 07 Jun 2006 06:54:01 +0000

by Wester
The long advent of Oblivion's v1.1 patch is finally over. Yes, the new patch update has been released, updating the game build version to v1.1.511 and weighing 1.6MB, and addressing a number of bugs and issues. Here are the release notes:

5. Update 1.1 Notes

Bug Fixes

Fixed an issue with falling through collision in Fort Wooden Hand.

Fixed issue with remapping controls in French, German, Italian and Spanish versions.

Fixed issue with some shadows not lining up.

Going to jail while equipped with bound armor or weapons no longer crashes the game.

Fixed issue with bound weapons not dispelling properly after dismounting a horse.

Fixed issue with player shadow being delayed after fast travel.

Fixed infinite gold issue on some dead NPCs.

Fixed issue with disease resistences that made it impossible to contract vampirism under certain circumstances.

Fixed an issue where occasionally skills would not increase properly after you received an increase in a way other than skill uses like as a quest reward.

Fixed issue where spells, powers and lesser powers were being improperly resisted when the player cast them on themselves.

Fixed an issue where creatures and NPCs would not go into combat properly after being hit by a projectile.

Fixed an issue with duplicating items and unequiping the bow.

Fixed an exploit that allowed you to sell equipped items to a vendor more than once while on a horse.

Fixed an issue with items reappearing in dead bodies after saving and reloading.

Fixed crash when NPC with active light spell on them unloaded from memory.

New Very Low Quality graphic setting available under Launcher options with improved support for low end FX cards (5700 and lower). To use this setting, go to the Launcher, select Options and click Reset to Defaults to allow the auto detect to check your system.

Implemented SLI-mode optimizations on Nvidia cards, and Crossfire optimizations for ATI cards.

Fixed a crash issue where loading a save would crash if the player had extra data on them.

Fixed an issue for LOD art for city was not unloading quickly enough when exiting an interior.

Fixed an issue where Aylied doors would not open when activated in Miscarcand.

Quest Fixes

If you are permanently expelled from Mages Guild, you can now go back into the Mages Guild buildings.

In The Siren's Deception, the door to Gweden farmhouse is prevented from locking too soon if player exits too quickly.

In the Light the Dragonfires quest, player controls are prevented from being locked if player accidentally hits Ocato during the final battle in the Imperial Palace.

In the Confront the King quest, fixed an issue where Mannimarco would occasionally stop fighting the player while the player's controls are locked.

In Corruption and Conscience, fixed an issue if player got to Llevana's house earlier than expected and she would initiate trespass behavior rather than move the quest forward.

In Theranis' Mistake, it is no longer possible to get multiple copies of Ahdarji's ring. Also, fixed an issue with player receiving Blood Price topic too early in the quest.

In the Leyawiin Recommendation quest, it is no longer possible to bypass Kalthar in Fort Blueblood.

In Revenge Served Cold, Corrick will now recognize when player had the jade amulet in their inventory if No Stone Unturned quest had been previously completed.

In Infiltration, player can no longer kill Blackwood Company members and stop progress in Fighter's Guild.

In Dark Brotherhood, if you kill fellow members and get kicked out of the guild, you can no longer continue to progress in the questline until you redeem yourself and get back in.

In The Master's Son, the player now properly receives their reward when completing the quest.

In Caught in the Hunt, fixed an issue where NPCs would not go into combat properly.

In the Cheydinhal Recommendation quest, fixed an issue where Vidkun's body would disappear if you left the well.

Getting disqualified from the first Arena match no longer blocks you from further matches.

In Till Death Do They Part, the Count no longer rewards player with gold more than once. Fixed an issue with not receiving the Vampire Ashes topic if the player picked up vampire ashes before getting the quest. Fixed issue where Bloodgrass topic was not added if player finished the Main Quest before starting quest. Hal-Liurz will now follow player properly when asked about the cure.

In Mystery and Harlun's Watch, the dead body you are supposed to find will no longer disappear from Swampy Cave if you cleared out the dungeon before starting the quest.

In Blood of the Daedra, Martin will now recognize Spellbreaker as a Daedric artifact.

In When the Vow Breaks, additional instance of Rockshatter are now prevented from appearing on Bjalfi's dead corpse after saving and reloading.

In Paranoia, game no longer crashes when Bernadette Peneles exits the city while you are following her.

For Clavicus Vile quest, fixed crash with giving or refusing to give Umbra to Clavicus Vile.

Plugin Fixes

Fixed issue with saving your game while an actor is in a new interior cell created in a plugin, and re-loading the save game without the plugin.

Fixed issue with loading previous saves with plugin that contains new base objects that are containers, NPCs and creatures.

Fixed issue with linked pathpoints scripted to switch on/off that are modified by a plugin.

NPC's companions no longer disappear when they fast travel with player to an exterior cell that is modified by a plugin.

New scripted spell effects created in a plugin now work properly.


I'm Finally Here!
Sun, 04 Jun 2006 14:09:02 +0000

by Zelieo

Hey guys!

Since we werent able to get the "Mod Of The Week" reviews done, I offered to help, and Paul let me! WooHoo!

From now on you will get full reviews of the best mods every week with no exceptions, 8-D. Khajiit has not been replaced! He and I will both be doing the reviews, alternating, so you will see my reviews every other week.

Unfortunately, my computer is messed up, so therefore I will not be posting any reviews for about three (3) weeks. But when I get it running, you get leet high-res shots!

That's all for now guys, Keep Gaming!

- Zelieo


ATI releases new Catalyst drivers
Fri, 26 May 2006 20:17:46 +0000

by Paul
From Following up on their recent Windows Vista Beta 2 drivers, ATI continue the trend by releasing new drivers for Windows XP they weigh in at 34MB with the full control panel and can be downloaded here. Key points of note for this release include:
  • 3DMark05: Running the application with CrossFire enabled and then attempting to hot un-plug and then hot-plug the CRT no longer results in 3DMark05 failing to respond.
  • Aquamark 3: Exiting the Start Measurement benchmark test once it is complete no longer results in the display device displaying a black desktop image with only the mouse cursor being available.
  • Doom 3: Beginning a new game and selecting the shotgun in the give all console no longer results in corruption being noticed when Ultra Quality is disabled in the in game video quality settings.
  • Far Cry: Installing the v1.33 patch and selecting D3D along with setting the display to 1024x768 English no longer results in the operating system failing to respond when running the benchmark.
  • Catalyst® Control Center: Enabling clone mode no longer results in the refresh rate being locked at 60Hz when using an ATI Radeon® X700 series product.
  • The MCE encoder no longer fails to install after the installation of the ATI display driver, WDM driver, and MMC software.

New Oblivion plugin add-on released
Tue, 23 May 2006 06:28:49 +0000

by Wester
Bethesda Softworks have released a new purchasable add-on plugin, designated as The Thieves Den, priced at $1.89. Here's the rundown:
  • A fully detailed enviroment for your character to own and explore
  • Free sleeping space: never pay for an inn again!
  • Five upgrades for your lair
  • Hire vendors designed especially for thieves, rogues, and assassins
  • As you upgrade your lair new pirates will join your crew and provide you with income
  • Over 45 new items
  • 15 new spells

New IGN Oblivion Mobile version review
Fri, 05 May 2006 17:04:21 +0000

by Wester
IGN have fired up their new review of the Mobile build of Oblivon, rating it a superlative 8.4/10.0. Here's a snoop:
"In a preview of the game, I mentioned that for Oblivion to succeed on mobile, it would need to invoke the essence of the console/PC game. The final version, which I downloaded from Verizon last week on a VX8000, I believe does just that. It's not just including locations, classes, and monsters from the 360 game that does it (but it certainly helps), but it delivers the easy swordplay, familiar-looking menus, and a seemingly similar storyline."
Be sure to read on.

Oblivion ESRB rating revoked
Thu, 04 May 2006 17:42:24 +0000

by Wester
Yes, it's true, the decent folks at Bethesda Softworks have changed TES4: Oblivion's ESRB rating from Teen to Mature due to not evaluating the level of the content of the game as thoroughly as they could have. Here's the press annoucement:

Bethesda Softworks Response to the ESRB Rating Change for
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

May 3, 2006 (Rockville, MD) - The ESRB has revoked their Teen rating for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the PC and the Xbox 360 and has assigned the game a new rating of Mature. The ESRB reports that this is due to content in the game that was not fully disclosed when rating the game initially. Bethesda, not its co-publisher, developed the game, handled the ratings application before the ESRB, and stands behind it.

Bethesda will promptly implement the ratings change that the ESRB has ordered for Oblivion. We will not contest the ESRB’s decision to re-rate the game as Mature, nor will we change the game’s content to keep a Teen rating. We believe that this critically acclaimed game is not typical of Mature rated titles, and does not present the central themes of violence that are common to those products.

Bethesda will work with its co-publisher to place new “M” rating stickers on Oblivion packaging now at retail and in warehouses, and will reflect the change in rating on newly manufactured product. No product recall is being directed.

In light of the public comments that are being made about this matter, and to respond to questions we are being asked, we are releasing this statement to be on record about the circumstances giving rise to Oblivion’s change in rating.

Bethesda Softworks made what it believes was a full, accurate, and comprehensive submission on Oblivion to the ESRB months before the game’s release. Bethesda used the ESRB’s application forms and believes it adhered closely to their requirements. Nothing was hidden from the ratings agency. No effort was made by Bethesda to lobby or influence the agency for any particular rating.

The ESRB has concluded that the game deserves a rating of Mature because: 1) partial nudity in the PC version of the game can be created by modders; and 2) the game contains excessive blood and gore that go beyond a Teen rating. The facts are as follows:

There is no nudity in Oblivion without a third party modification. In the PC version of the game only - this doesn’t apply to the Xbox 360 version - some modders have used a third party tool to hack into and modify an art archive file to make it possible to create a mesh for a partially nude (topless) female that they add into the game. Bethesda didn’t create a game with nudity and does not intend that nudity appear in Oblivion. There is no nude female character in a section of the game that can be "unlocked." Bethesda can not control tampering with Oblivion by third parties. Bethesda is taking steps to ensure that modders can not continue to hack into Oblivion’s art archives to create partially nude figures.

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. We submitted a 60-page document listing the explicit language, acts, and scenes in the game. Oblivion packaging already contains warnings for "Violence" and "Blood and Gore."

We value the role of the ESRB and believe the rating agency plays a valuable role in regulating our industry. As always, we will continue work in good faith to comply fully with the ESRB’s standards and policies.

We remain enormously proud of Oblivion and the standard of excellence in game development it represents. Oblivion is one of the highest rated games of all time and one of the most popular games available on the Xbox 360 and the PC. We greatly appreciate the understanding and support of our fans.


New Oblivion Mobile Interview
Wed, 03 May 2006 17:09:50 +0000

by Wester have flogged up their newly conducted interview Douglas Frederick, President of Vir2L Studios regarding the Mobile version of TES4: Oblivion. Here's a quota:

What were your goals and main objectives for Oblivion Mobile?

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for mobile was designed to build upon the previous TEST mobile titles in terms of game design and gameplay. As with our other TEST games, our goal is to help make The Elder Scrolls titles familiar to a greater number of players beyond the traditional PC and console game audience. Another very important objective for us was to find a way to offer the game to more mobile gamers and to significantly increase handset ports. The overall intent of the game is to be challenging, fast paced, and action oriented enough so that casual and younger players can enjoy it. Of course, it also had to capture a sense of the Elder Scrolls universe and play-style with enough depth for Elder Scrolls players. We gave much focus to providing varied and rich levels with the essence of a TES game environment, but of course, within the limitations of the mobile phone memory.

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