Author Archives: Serge

ESO Vvardenfell Map Datamined

Hold onto your hats, it seems Vvardenfell is coming to ESO! A recent datamining effort uncovered a map of the island deep inside the game’s files, along with some fancy new tilesets. There’s no official word on it yet, but it could be that we’re getting a new (old) area. Morrowind fans around the world, rejoice!

eso Vvardenfell map In a recent post on ESO’s sub, reddit user FloorBelow shared a picture of the map. You can head on here if you’d like to see the original, uncompressed version. If you take a closer look at it, you’ll see much of the stuff is like it was in TES3.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that the volcano is active and seems inaccessible. Apart from that, several locations are missing – ones that were tied to the Crimson Plague or the Imperial influence in the province. Imperial towns like Caldera or Ebonheart aren’t present, nor is the Foreign Quarter in the capital. There are a couple of new places as well, which is all kinds of exciting.

The diligent dataminer discovered new textures, too, which bear the names of Great Houses and cities. Among others, there were tilesets called Telvanni, Hlaalu, Redoran, Vivec and Velothi. Dunmer strongholds and Dwemer ruins will be having their own characteristic architecture as well. There’s no information about the kind of creatures we could face there, but I guess that would be expecting too much at this point. We’re just hopeful they’ll conveniently forget to put in cliffracers.

Of course, we should wait for official confirmation before getting giddy with anticipation. Game development is a tricky thing, and things can go wrong at any step. There’s no use getting our hopes up before the DLC is announced, which will hopefully happen soon, especially now that the cat is out of the bag.

Final Fantasy 15: Sturdy Helixhorn, Rusted Bit, Glass Gemstone, Scraps of Mystery and more

Final Fantasy XV was released a short while ago, and it’s already the hottest new RPG this year. It has an epic main story, likable and relatable characters, and a massive world with tons of side missions. The side quests alone should keep players occupied for hours upon hours. Your AI-controlled friends, the combat mechanics and the vastness of this game’s open world give it an almost MMORPG feel.

rusted bit sturdy helixhorn scraps of mystery guides for final fantasy xv

The crew at our sister website GosuNoob spent literal days playing the game and turning every rock. As a result, they’ve compiled more than a hundred guides ranging between weapon upgrades and upgrade materials to lists and walkthroughs of the dungeons. They’ve also got secret locations, collectibles maps, explanations of end game content, and more. It’s rare that a single player game gets this much attention, but Final Fantasy XV truly deserves time and dedication.

Engine Blade Upgrade – Rusted Bit, Glass Gemstone, Sturdy Helix horn

One of the quirks of Final Fantasy as a franchise is resetting everything for every new main installment, but having recurring characters. One of those is Cid the mechanic. In this game, Cid owns a garage at Hammerhead station. He’s willing to upgrade your weapons to help you on your journey, provided you get him the required items. Each weapon upgrade is a separate side quest, and one of those is called A Better Engine Blade. There’s three upgrades for the Engine Blade. Each one brings it up to the next level and requires a different component.
The first thing you’ll need is a Rusted Bit. We’ve found quite a few of them, and we’ve got map locations and screenshots for them. The second component is the Glass Gemstone. This one is trickier to find, but it’ll be much easier with our guide. The third and final item you’ll need is a Sturdy Helixhorn. The only way to get it is by killing a certain monster in the game, and the guide tells you exactly how to do it and where to find them.

The Scraps of Mystery side quest

There’s a lot to do in this game beside the main story. There’s a bunch of side quests that will take you around the open world and give you that sweet XP. You can collect hunter dog tags, hunt wild animals, help strangers fix their cars, and much more. Probably the most complicated and well-hidden quest is the Scraps of Mystery. It sends you on a long journey across the entirety of Eos, searching for clues and Sylvester’s Map Pieces. There’s a total of fourteen steps in this quest. It took hours and hours of careful searching and patience. As a result, we’ve compiled a guide with maps with the exact locations of all 14 Mystery Maps and Map Scraps for you.

We hope that you’re enjoying playing Final Fantasy XV as much as we are and that our guides will help you with the trickier parts. Check out our compilation of 100 FFXV guides for more help when you need it to make your gaming experience even better.

ESO free weekend for Xbox One

TESO is getting another free weekend event! It’s going to take place this weekend, during Thanksgiving, and this time, it’s for the Xbox crowd. If you haven’t tried the game but wanted to, now’s your time.

Sadly, you’ll need a Gold subscription if you want to try it out. Apart from that, there are no requirements. You just download the game from the store, create an ESO account and go on your merry way. You’ll be limited to the base game (no DLC), and you’ll need around 80 GB of free space in order to install it.

eso free play xbox

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The Elder Scrolls Online free weekend for PS4 and Xbox One

If you’re a console player, you might’ve been dissuaded from trying The Elder Scrolls Online because of the price tag. If that’s the case, you’re in luck – ESO will be having a free weekend on PS4, starting tomorrow. You’ll have the chance to try out the game for a couple of days, and decide if it’s a good fit for you.

eso extended free play weekend

Bethesda have decided to let Playstation 4 players have a taste of TESO over the weekend completely free of charge. You won’t even need a Plus subscription to try it out. In case you like it, you’ll be able to buy it at a reduced price. Just keep in mind the sale will end along with the free weekend – if you’re going to buy it, do it as soon as you’re sure.

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Arx Corinium – First Seed Report Lorebook

Collection: Dungeon Lore
Location(s): Shadowfen
Location Notes: Inside Arx Corinium, near the last boss.
Image walkthrough:
Map:
Shadowfen map

Lorebook text

Officer’s Log: Centurion Pontius

Building a fort in a swamp is no trivial task, but my men and I have accomplished it with Arx Corinium. It was a battle the entire duration—with insect-borne disease, with the wildlife of the marshlands, but the Empire wanted a foothold in this region and we provided one.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, we’ve packed our arms and armor on orders from Colonel Marianus, and prepare to leave our work behind. The Colonel cites the continued loss of a half-dozen soldiers every month in maintaining Arx Corinium as "detrimental to the war effort." I agree, and would note that I predicted this outcome when we arrived over a year and a half ago. I said as much to the Colonel, who ordered that the project proceed. This isn’t a statement of complaint, but of fact.

Construction suffered numerous complications: the bog impeded our progress at every turn, and it became clear the initial foundation we built would sink after the first month. When we moved our location farther to the north, we met a fierce wamasu that cost me ten men to chase off the premises. After repeated encounters, our war wizard, Belisaro, named it Ganakton the Tempest, after the bolts of lightning that the beast emits from every orifice ("Ganakton" was the moniker of a hated aunt, rumored to possess Orcish blood).

The dense humidity was another foe, turning our plate armor to steek barrels full of sweat during the early months of construction. It goes against regulation, but I allowed my soldiers the luxury of cloth armor during the summer. It was that or death from heatstroke. We would have been at a disadvantage had we come under attack, but any enemy marching towards Arx Corinium would be half-dead by the time they reached us. In any event, it never happened.

Battle found us just the same: every beast in this swamp, large or small, is a walking death trap, and some days, we fought sword to stinger with insects the size of a grown man’s head. Other days, our mages contended with the likes of Ganakton the Tempest, who continued to terrorize the fort. He razed the eastern wall a dozen times, and I regret that I will never be allowed the luxury of mounting his skull on my mantle. But if it means we finally get to leave, I’ll gladly allow Ganakton his life.

As I look back on this last year and a half, at the resources and manpower it took to construct Arx Corinium, I can’t say it’s been worth it. Again, this isn’t a statement of grievance. I bear my superiors no ill will for my orders. However, I would note that I made several warnings in advance of this project, and have compiled copies of my letters to my immediate superior, Colonel Marianus, detailing the reasons why I believed the construction of Arx Corinium could prove a disastrous venture for the Empire.

I want to clarify that this is not a declaration of failure on anyone’s part, either for myself, my men, or Colonel Marianus. I am fully aware that that decision falls to Tribune Hilario, whom I encourage to read the letters I mention above. I’ve already sent word and made them available for any officer to peruse at the Imperial City military archives.

Civility And Etiquette V 5: Undead Lorebook

Collection: Dungeon Lore
Location(s): Bangkorai
Location Notes: Found inside Blackheart Haven in Bangkorai.
Image walkthrough:
Map:
Bangkorai map

Lorebook text

By Coristir

Part I

It is popular belief that all undead and phantasmal revenants are slaves to their necromantic biology. Indeed, like most predatory wildlife, many of these creatures exist only to absorb or consume the energy of the living. They should never be bargained or reasoned with. An Altmer should deal with such creatures in the way she would handle a rabid wolf, or malevolent Orc: with extreme prejudice.

However, there are those among the post-living that possess or have achieved sentience, like vampires, liches, and wraiths. Dialogue is possible with creatures such as these, as long as one keeps certain discretions in mind:

1. An undead who speaks is bound to be powerful. Any creature whose magic is potent enough to allow it sentience in death deserves an Altmer’s begrudging admiration.

2. An undead can never be trusted. Though we should respect the undead and their power, all undead want something from the living, and there is little to stop them from taking it. An Altmer must remain guarded in their presence. Always.

3. An undead might not be as she appears. Many powerful mages possess illusory spells to alter their appearance, and so, too, do the undead. The wandering spirit of a lost child could be a starving lich in disguise.

That said, there is much an Altmer can learn from the accumulated knowledge of a sentient undead, if dialogue can be achieved. The discerning Altmer could learn of ancient spells from time immemorial, first-hand accounts of historical events, or the locations of lost relics—if said Altmer can pose salient questions. When conversing with the likes of the undead, an Altmer wants to maintain an appearance of:

1. Humility. An Altmer’s heritage should afford her much, and in an ideal world, all peoples, including liches, vampires, and wraiths, would adhere to the Altmeri concept of class and proceed accordingly. However, most undead, even Altmeri undead, rarely adhere to social conventions. As such, even the most well-bred of Altmer should refer to point 1 in the previous listing. Think of the undead as elders: powerful, unflinching, and prone to anger.

2. Intelligence. As is true with the Altmer, especially well-bred Altmer, the undead do not suffer fools. Without being overtly obvious, an Altmer wants to seek openings to display magical acumen or cunning to show that she is not to be trifled with. Again, think of intimidating a stern elder into compliance.

3. Discipline. Assuming an Altmer can enter into peaceful communication with a lich, wraith, vampire, or otherwise, she will undoubtedly have many questions. But she should be wary of the number of questions she asks. An undead will impart its knowledge willingly or not at all.

In Part II of this collection, I’ll detail hurdles that may come up in conversation with the undead, specifically with wraiths, vampires, and liches, all of which require different operations of social intelligence.

Civility And Etiquette: Wood Orcs I Lorebook

Collection: Dungeon Lore
Location(s): Grahtwood
Location Notes: Found inside Elden Hollow, Grahtwood.
Image walkthrough:
Map:
Grahtwood map

Lorebook text

Civility and Etiquette Volume III: Wood Orcs, Part I

Elden Hollow

By Coristir, Sage Sojourner

It is said that the Orcs came to be when the Aldmeri god, Trinimac, was devoured by the Daedric Prince Boethiah. As the myth goes, Boethiah excreted Trinimac’s remains, and those Aldmer who followed Trinimac rubbed that excrement on themselves to become Orcs. Perhaps it’s just a myth, but the imagery is appropriate: repugnant, ridiculous, and a little comical, like the Orcs themselves. It’s said that, after a time, a sect of these people traveled into Valenwood and developed a tangential culture: the Wood Orcs. (For dealings with Orsinium Orcs, see Volume II.)

The Orcs in general are difficult for Mer to interact with, but these Wood Orcs are similar in physicality to our Wood Elf cousins, the Bosmer. The Wood Orcs are blunter and more ill-tempered than the Bosmer, but should be handled in much the same way: with patience, guidance and a careful eye. Without a proper Altmeri hand to lead them, both races have the potential to devolve into self-destructive, orderless savages that are an inconvenience and danger to all civilized people around them.

So how should an Altmer deal with a Wood Orc?

First, earn her respect. Like her northern, Orsinium cousins (the more common Orc variety), a Wood Orc admires physical strength, but she also prizes agility, speed, and geographical knowledge (equating that with tactical knowledge). Display some semblance of competence in these areas and you will earn her begrudging appreciation.

Here are a few ways to begin a conversation (as a sign of respect, make sure to introduce yourself or at least establish eye contact first):

1. Offer to begin an unarmed altercation and force the Wood Orc to submit. They enjoy fisticuffs.

2. If you find yourself walking with a Wood Orc, gain the lead and maintain it. This may lead to a footrace. Win it, and win the Wood Orc’s approval.

3. Find a large rock—equal to or greater than body size—and hurl it, within view. Use a strength spell if you must, but don’t let the Wood Orc know.

If you think this sounds like impressing your way into a tribe of athletic children, you would not be far wrong. Use the above methods with caution—predictable as they may be, Wood Orcs are individuals, and require improvisation in dealing with them.

And here are a few things an Altmer should not do when interacting with Wood Orcs:

1. Flaunt magical abilities. Though the Altmer know that displaying advanced magic shows a lifetime of dedication and mastery of the highest craft, all Orcs bear a cultural distrust of magic. In their ignorance, they believe magic’s primary function is oppression of their people, and often bridle at its use.

2. Unless you’re intending to ignite a battle, never hide in the trees of Wood Orc territory. Walk in the open. As our Bosmer cousins have learned, the Wood Orcs do not take kindly to those who stalk their forests. They equate secret movement with malevolence and cowardice.

In Part II of this collection, I’ll detail specific hurdles that may come up in conversation with a Wood Orc, such as religion and Malacath, and the Wood Orc equivalent of Orsinium strongholds.

Josef The Intolerant Lorebook

Collection: Dungeon Lore
Location(s): The Rift
Location Notes: Found inside Blessed Crucible, The Rift.
Image walkthrough:
Map:
The Rift map

Lorebook text

By Ilitha

There are many legendary gladiators who’ve made their names in the Blessed Crucible. Among them, Felhorn, Sanarel the Great, and Aleris the Shroud are known for their formidable combat prowess and fighting spirit. But others, like Josef the Intolerant, have become famous for other reasons.

Let me first say that the Blessed Crucible of Skyrim features an amazing array of competitors, with combatants arriving from all over Tamriel to test their mettle. In this time of warring alliances, it’s not just anywhere that an Altmer would drag a wounded Orc to safety, or where a Redguard would so readily step into an arrow’s path for an Argonian, but the Blessed Crucible is one such place. In the Crucible, one’s team is one’s nation, and the struggle for the Brimstone Crown the national religion.

However, there was one man, a young gladiator named Josef. He came from the Breton Lion Guard, and was fresh-faced, decent with a blade. None questioned that he was a healthy boy, ready to take the Crucible by storm. But Josef could never understand the social phenomenon of the Crucible, and trusted only other Bretons. He could not fathom the fact that gladiators must place their trust in their teams, not in gladiators of the same race.

Said gladiator Oberelle, "Our match began, and this Breton boy sent his Khajiiti team member sprawling to the ground. Then he looked me in the eye and blinked twice, slowly. ‘Is he trying to wink?’ whispered my ally, Doumant. We capitalized on their folly and beat the boy and the Khajiit unconscious. One must never refuse such strokes of fortune in the Blessed Crucible."

As time passed, young Josef grew increasingly frustrated. He scoffed at suggestions to collaborate with gladiators of other races. His demeanor incensed the Crucible audience along with its competitors, and management loved him for it. "We would print Josef’s face on currency if we could. He is a boon to us," they said.

The gladiators felt differently.

Said Dalu the Dunmeri Blade, "Josef told me he would never collaborate with a kwama farmer. And he hounded me every day for kwama eggs. He was certain that I had some, or could, by some miracle, produce them. I have never even tasted a kwama egg. I was born in Skyrim."

Said Ethenen, the Rabid Dunmer, "Josef repeatedly referred to me as Dalu."

Said Azrukana, the Crimson Cat, "I told him he could trust me in battle. That he needed to, if he wanted to live for much longer as a gladiator. He rasped his voice and said, ‘This one thinks you should have some moon sugar and keep your opinions to yourself.’ I did not like that."

Said Inarfar, the Skyforged Razor, "When Hrasvard, my comrade of a decade, was slain in combat, I went to the Hall of Champions and I wept. That Breton boy found me and said, ‘Did you run out of mead-coin? I know how that feels, but unlike you Nords, I wouldn’t cry about it.’ The beating that ensued in Hrasvard’s honor lasted eight minutes."

No gladiator had gained as much infamy as Josef in so short a time, but he soon disappeared.

His current whereabouts are unknown.

The Art Of Kwama Egg Cooking Lorebook

Collection: Dungeon Lore
Location(s): Deshaan
Location Notes: Found inside Darkshade Caverns, Deshaan.
Image walkthrough:
Map:
Deshaan map

Lorebook text

An Introduction

By Belami Llevarso

Kwama eggs have always been a Dunmeri delicacy, though I’ve heard they’ve found their way into Imperial kitchens, too. (Who knows what grisly dishes that lot would make with Kwama eggs? Would they stuff chickens with them? Poach them and put them in a bap? They are a disdainful people, and they make disdainful food.)

To cook a Kwama egg with any measure of success is to master the sharp, sour flavor, and the gummy texture. Kwama eggs are similar to Scrib jelly in this way, and many a young chef (even Dunmeri chefs whose elders should have better taught them) has attempted to mask the eggs behind other ingredients, to camouflage the perceived unpleasantness. This is an abominable practice. A chef should never apologize for a Kwama egg in her dishes by sweetening or embittering them. If the dish is properly prepared, supporting the Kwama eggs’ natural qualities, a cultured diner will embrace the meal in all its pungent glory.

But what does that preparation entail? Only a Dunmer could tell you. Because only the Dunmer have the lifetimes of experience necessary to call ourselves culinary masters of the Kwama egg. It was we who first tamed the Kwama, after all.

I, in turn, have spent a large portion of my years (of which there are many) immersing myself in the art. I have served Kwama eggs to peasants and paupers, Grandmasters and Grandmistresses, and delighted them all. And you, dear reader, will find within these volumes the combined knowledge of my entire career. It takes a lifetime of cooking Kwama eggs to truly understand the subtle, but brilliant differences between the various methods of preparation, and I have catalogued them all here—all the ones of worth, at least. Follow these recipes exactly. Just as a mage should hesitate to improvise in her spell-casting, lest she find a Daedra in her drawing room, the Kwama egg chef should not stray from the paths I’ve laid out here—painstakingly crafted from years of trial and error.
Believe me—if it works, I’ve found it.

And put that moon sugar away. You’ll insult the eggs.