Modding creativity and functionality; Do you understand this?

So this is what’s got me raving today. Firstly, people who think they have the world’s most creative mod and don’t add to it where it can clearly be added to. When someone suggests it, they get all bent out of shape saying;

Well if you don’t like it, don’t download it!

Which Thandal there on the Nexus loves to ban for that. Now this is where the community goes south. Copyright. What does that have to do with this post? Let’s start of with the simple nature on how a mod is created. It’s created from an idea. The idea is then worked out through the Creation Kit. Models are sometimes made. After everything is placed, archived, packed, voila. You have a mod. People think that creating that mod gives them copyright. However I’ve proven and have actually spoken to my assistant who has prosecuted copyright violators (Bben, are you reading?) that since none of you have actually went through the legal system to get your shit copyrighted, you have no claims on it. Meaning you can’t sue if someone steals your mod. I hate mod stealers, but they can’t be touched legally. What does that have to do with modding creativity? People have been accused on various sites for stealing mods, however with further investigation, the two mods couldn’t be more different. In fact people were accusing these people for stealing their ideas and then making them better. Where’s the harm in that? If I put a mod out there and someone makes a mod based on my idea and making it better, you bet I’m going to sit there and thank them. If you can’t add onto your original idea and someone bases their work off of yours, it’s not theft. It’s called supply and demand. Something that the Nexus is lacking. Since 2012, I’m pretty sure that there’s not going to be any good mods there any time soon. Falskaar included.

 

Now we come up to the point where we ask ourselves what we can do about this. Firstly, there are plenty of modding forums out there that have some wonderful ideas. The Nexus modders won’t read mod request forums hardly at all. Forums like ModsReloaded or LoversLabs (if that’s your cup of tea) do. Usually a safe haven for those who have been banned or pushed out from the Nexus for having an idea. Secondly, start learning the kit. If you don’t want to sign up there or are afraid that you’d even be banned for joining ModsReloded or LoversLabs then the best route is to try and do it yourself and finding help when the need arises. If you can’t get help from the Nexus, start posting on Bethsoft. Or even TESAlliance. There are a multitude of forums out there that will try to help you if they can. If there’s a mod out there similar to yours, ask the mod author how they did it and where they found the information from. Thirdly, promote the interest of it. Get people talking about it on various forums. Generate more ideas. Get people to volunteer if they’re willing, but don’t goad them into it. This is how the community used to work back in Morrowind’s era.

 

Moving onto functionality, this is the tricky part. After things are set up, established, and are working this is the point where you ask yourself how it can be better. Taking on suggestions. First, do the simpler most popular. Work your way down the popular suggestions and then get to the more unpopular ones if they fit into the paradigm of the idea. It’s your vision, wouldn’t you want it to see the most potential? For me, if I were to make a mod I would even try the unpopular ideas just to get outside my modding comfort zone. Granted, I suck at coding Papyrus. But I’d try to make things possible. So should you. Take your vision, and like salons, run with it like scissors. Make it bloom into something worth downloading. Don’t just stick something up there and say that’s as far as the idea can go. It can go further. This is what pushing that bar is. We haven’t done this in almost two years people. Two years. That’s a long time. Compared to people pushing the envelope with Morrowind still, that’s saying something. Put some elbow grease into it. Make the functionality expand with a lot of features, yet keep it simple so you don’t overwhelm people with complex usage.

 

In closing, really. Get off your asses and do something about this. The game has declined faster than expected. This is why Bethesda left it for other adventures. They seen the rapid decline before we did. I know this now. Looking through Morrowind, they had very few DLC for it. Then Oblivion came along, there was quite a bit of DLC for it. Sure, a lot of them were small DLC addons, but they still kept with it. Then Skyrim came along. We got three. Less than Morrowind, which had two major DLC and a few addons released on Planet Elder Scrolls then we had Oblivion which had nine. See the problem yet? I certainly do. Hearthfire wasn’t made until after Build Your Own Home was made, and both have the same problems. Functionality. You can’t stuff things where you want to display it. You don’t have any kind of spiffy sorters. Now, while Build Your Own Home has a sorter that’s more of cloud storage, it’s not spiffy. It’s tacky and lazy. Stop using it. Make things more interactive. There’s modder’s tools out there already that makes the game more interactive in terms of storing meat in a pot and having it sorted there. Or where ever. It’s time we use them. See? More functionality without adding 10,000 different menus to go through. Complex, yet simple. What’s so hard about that?

 

In addendum we come to questing mods. I’ve talked to an owner of a blog I follow. There was an idea that was talked about, having crafters actually help build up your skill by doing basic quests and the like. This hasn’t been done yet, people seem to avoid it like the plague because either it would require voice acting, or changing vanilla merchants, however the possibility is still there. I’m pretty sure so long as such a mod is created, all it would need to be is placed before mods that change the vendors. Why hasn’t anyone jumped on this? Anyone? After I get most of this work off my computer and out of the way, I’m planning on sitting down and working on this. If someone wants to run with the idea, they’re more than welcome to. Just be sure to leave a link here so I can tell the person who generated this idea where it’s at. Why? Because that’s how the community is supposed to act.

More Elitism from the Nexus, you’re the problem with the modding community

So a friend of mine decided to send me some screencaptures of the recent news article written by Dark0ne. I was pretty much going to ignore it until I seen what the screencaptures had shown. First, I’ll quote the text.

We’ve added a relatively small update to the sites today that revolves around the “Required files” system in the file database. When an author adds their file to the site via our file wizard one of the steps involves adding any files that the author’s file needs in order to work. This information is then displayed in the rather small, out-of-the-way button labeled “Required” on the file page. Typically authors also put any file requirements in their descriptions but, as I’m sure any file author would be willing to confirm, some users seem incapable of actually reading descriptions, installation instructions or indeed anything pertinent to do with the file before they add the file to their game. Guess what some of these users then do when they can’t get the file to work or it breaks their game? That’s right, they head off to the file’s comments to give the author a piece of their mind or ask for help when all the information they need is right there, on the file page! It’s annoying.

It’s annoying? Does every mod from every person on the Nexus upload a readme? Not sure? Why? Because you have so many files to manage? But that’s so annoying right? Just like how so many files are ‘causing’ bandwidth problems? What about the DDoS attacks that you found out was from YOUR OWN PROGRAM? Seriously dude, I’m through being nice with you. You, your site, your elitist mongering subscribers are the problem with the modding community. Thank you, Dark0ne, for taking something that could be cherished at one point and tarnishing it into something that I’m seeing more and more disgrace in. You’re in it for the money, I get that. But how dare you sit up there on YOUR high horse chastising people who SCOUR the pages looking for that relevant information and over half the time it’s not there and a lot of the time it’s people who ‘tipe leik dis cuz im a lazy prsn’. How very  dare you and screw your double standards, punk. I’m glad I left when I did. For those that don’t know, I had my account formally banned by my request, without giving a reason publicly, but this is part of the main reason. Here’s a screenshot of the quote above.

3 main

But it doesn’t stop there folks. Here’s a couple of screencaptures of EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

1

Yes, let’s ban people from downloading mods for asking for help. Firstly, elitists like you don’t help the matter. Secondly, not every description has instructions. Not every mod has a readme. How the hell are they supposed to follow those instructions? You have got to be joking. Please, get off your high horse as well. And the rest of people with this mentality.

2

And this one… It’s annoying to tell someone who doesn’t understand the instructions that may be complicated for them to understand? You do realize that not everyone speaks English, right? Are you that ignorant and arrogant to think that all words are culturally universal? You too are a part of the problem in why the modding community is becoming more and more vapid. Get off your high horse too. If you’re bothered THAT much then stop modding please. We can do without your elitist behavior.

4

And calling people who don’t understand an idiot isn’t helping. YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM TOO. Seriously, pardon my french, but this is what the fuck is wrong with the Nexus. A bunch of children. I remember people like Qarl, Grumpy, and other modders who have passed on and they’re probably ROLLING in their graves at this. Is that seriously what you want to become? Elitist people? Go right ahead. I’ll enjoy watching the site burn in it’s own utter demise. Who wants marshmellows and smores?

For people on the sidelines reading this, I won’t try to convince you to leave the Nexus, however I will give the following advice:

  • Do NOT under any circumstances post any text. It will be used against you in the forums.
  • Do NOT under any circumstances try to defend someone, even after reporting the offensive posts (because they ignore it). They punish you for being a decent person on the internet.
  • Do NOT under any circumstances leave any criticisms with anything identifies you on the Nexus. You’ll get banned for sure. Probably by Dark0ne.
  • Do NOT under any circumstances follow my blog with any identification that matches you to the Nexus. Same reasons for the above bullet.
  • Do NOT under any circumstances affiliate yourself with hate blogs of any kind in regards to the Nexus with any identifiable information tied to your account on the Nexus. They ban for that too according to Bben46.
  • Do NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY A MEMBERSHIP. It’s a waste of your money. Pretty much it’s just to sit there and have a spiffy little banner under your avatar, a few different forums, a few privileges that are quickly diminishing which an example of that deals with screencaptures and story boards, and a slew of other reasons. It doesn’t protect you from the elitism. It doesn’t protect you from getting banned. Which if you get banned and you did purchase a membership that is current around your banning, get your money back. If he doesn’t return your money, let me know as well if you want it public or private. Do note that I’ll always ask before hand.

If you host mods on there, do NOT do anything detailed in this post at all. If you do, you’re no different than these assholes. If you get banned and have done that, I’ll hold no sympathy for you. Why? Because a community as tight-knit as it used to be, we always helped. We were happy to help. We put the content out there, we should be obligated to help the consumer of the mod. If that’s not the reason why you’re modding then congratulations, you TOO are part of the problem. Video games should be fun. Sharing modded ideas, SHOULD BE FUN FOR EVERYONE. Not using it as some self-entitlement. If that’s what you think modding is, you’re doing it wrong. I know that this post is probably falling on deaf ears, however I cannot STAND it when people pull that crap. Hence my stand to boycott the Nexus completely. At least I know Steam is full of jerks. It’s well known for it. But the Nexus promotes this ‘safe’ environment when it’s quite the opposite.

Dear Mod Authors, simplicity makes you lazy.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post on here. I’ve been surfing the mods on Steam since I had my account closed on the Nexus (which I’m still not regretting that decision, especially after hearing how they banned someone for asking where their money went) and I’m finding the same lazy stunts being pulled in terms of quality. Hopefully this advice won’t fall on deaf ears. Now before I get into it, let me just say that people commenting by saying that if I’m giving advice for top dog mod authors, to do better here’s the thing… I’m not going to fix their mistakes. It’s been like pulling teeth fixing the Unofficial Skyrim Patch team’s mistakes and frankly people like Arthmoor should know better. Especially when bringing logs back to them and instead of acknowledging them, it’s either ignored or we’re told it’s not their problem (when their patches were the only mods enabled along with the DLC they depend on).

 

First thing, the papyrus log errors. While the vanilla components have them, I’m finding many scripters ignoring this. If you have an error in there, chances are that not only will it possibly clash with a slew of other mods out there, but it causes instability in conditions within the engine. Do NOT release a script without looking at your logs. This is my biggest pet peeve with the modding community. Saying that it works when there’s errors is NOT a finished product by any means. Saying that it’s not your problem doesn’t mean that it’s not your problem, because it IS your problem. CHECK YOUR DAMN LOGS PLEASE. I’m tired of having to restart my game and the carriages exploding all over the place because of your quickly cut corners and then seeing you people boast about how you have the world’s best Skyrim mod. You don’t.

Second thing is housing mods. I’m seeing a lot of people using the whole argument of PC specs causing people issues. Not only is this not true, but are you seriously going to tell someone who has a low ended rig to get a new computer JUST to play your mod? People, I’m not telling you what to do, but I will advise you not to download mods that have a disclaimer like this. It’s not YOUR rig most of the time. It’s THEIR mod. Shoving 10,000 statics in a small area that has everything from glow maps and animated textures to glowy animated meshes isn’t something that’s always needed for a spiffy housing mod. I encourage many people to actually RESEARCH these things before hand. The Skyrim.ini (information file) can fix a lot of issues. I also recommend the several performance mods out there.

The third thing is another issue with housing mods. Storage. I’m tired of people using General Stores. Why? Because it’s lazy, not unique anymore, and I really hate message boxes to access my shit. Pardon my french, but if you’re seriously going to be lazy and you don’t want to use resources made available on not just the Nexus and Steam, but sites like Curse.org, PlanetElderScrolls, TESAlliance.org, and the slew of other modding websites and not use them to their full potential, then you’re seriously lacking in the storage department in what you can make your mod to be. This is one thing that became my bane when it came to the Nexus. When I’d request for a mod to be made with this kind of storage, do you know what kind of answer I got? Either ‘Do it yourself’ which that isn’t an answer, ‘Why not search through the Nexus?’ when I already have, ‘Oh that kind of mod isn’t possible’ when it’s been done on both Morrowind and Oblivion and furthermore it’s storage.. Storage isn’t possible? Please get off my internet space. People who reply this way aren’t helping and not only that, they’re actually giving the impression that they just want their post counts up on the Nexus. Hence why I left. I digress however. The thing is, I’m very displeased with a lot of modders out there who are making housing mods. There are several housing mods out there that not only can use a huge clean up in scripting mistakes, but they could use a bit of an overhaul in terms of storing.

The fourth thing is mods like SkyRe, Requiem, and other mods that aim to ‘increase’ immersion, difficulty, and gameplay. I’ve played all sorts of characters and I really don’t like using mods that I have to choose one or the other until a patch comes out for something right now. This is the reason why they have the difficulty slider. I hear people bitching that magic is way too overpowered. Alright, what about the fact that arrows kill me or kills my enemies faster than a Master spell? Or what about the fact that Barbarian/thuggy characters can ultimately decimate a field of mages with crappy equipment? Doesn’t make any sense that magic would be overpowered unless you’re running around an enemy spamming the same summon spell. There’s something called tactics, I think people should actually LOOK into that. Now if it’s a mod that alters CombatAI, you bet your ass I’ll be downloading that and playing on it. Why? Because I love it when the AI affects my playthrough. Leveled lists doesn’t cut it. Arguments that I’ve heard defending these jokes of mods have been pretty hilarious. Leveled lists aren’t your issue. It’s the fact that people are playing on lower difficulties and not manipulating CombatAI’s. A leveled list won’t make an enemy NPC hide behind a tree. Hurr. Hurr.

The fifth thing is seeing a lot of these mods that just have gender specifics. Jewelry mods, I’m looking at you. Some of these look really nice, but what about the guys out there who want crafty looking earrings just in one ear? Would it REALLY kill you to make one? I’ve asked modders how to do it, they never would say, I’d ask for a tutorial and they say ‘Sorry, females only’ like it’s some sort of club and then complain and cry when they don’t have the statistics or downloads they want. Let me point it out for you. YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM WHY YOUR MODS AREN’T SUCCESSFUL. Why? Because you’re trying to reach one audience instead of several. I can’t be clearer about that.

The sixth thing is followers. Thorald would have been awesome if he was put into the spouse faction. While he’s successful without it, I’m finding that this gender specific crap is more than just common. It’s annoying. While on that subject as well, why the hell are all these female followers everywhere, but males are either not in the spouse faction or just follower fodder? I’ll answer that for you. Because people still haven’t gotten past puberty yet. I don’t know how many mods I’ve seen on the Nexus that had big busty women as followers. *Shudder* The REALLY funny part is when people bitch about realism of a vampire mod or something else and then go and use one of those followers saying ‘OMG LEIK 100% REALIZTIK!!!1!1!!!oneoneone!1!’ It’s not realistic. If I see a woman with a bust size that big in a mod I really fear for their backs. Seriously. Go back to daycare if you’re making mods like that. Also, for mods that aim to be like Thorald and Hoth, please please please follow this paragraph’s advice. Don’t be a jerk. Some followers would benefit from having a romance storyline since the marriage system is very linear and frankly, boring. But one main important think is that you’re not arrogant about the success. For instance the guy who created Thorald became very arrogant after it’s success. When I had a few questions, he’d post with the wrong answer. When confronted, he’d say ‘Well I know because I did Thorald!’ Uhhh… So? What do you want, a brownie? Just because you’re wrong doesn’t mean you have to be that way. So please, if you’re going to look up to them, don’t do that. These modders had this a long time coming and if you all are reading this, pardon my french, but please, clean your shit up. You’re not impressive, you’re nothing special. Stop acting like we can’t sit with you. We can. Don’t like it? Don’t mod publicly.

The seventh thing is mod authors who take credit of ideas and not give credit to the original idea, yet bitch about people not giving credit to them. I guess they know what that feels like now. But they can’t give credit afterwords because they either fear the banhammer, or they want to appear unique. Go figure. Please get out of the modding community if you’re doing that.

The last thing, people who defend these people. ‘U HAV NO ROOM 2 TALK CUZ THEY R SO SUCCESSFUL SO STFU’. I had this situation when educating people on certain things. Please stop that. Not only does it make the defended look horribly incapable of interactions, but seriously? JUST BECAUSE A MOD IS SUCCESSFUL DOESN’T MEAN THE MOD AUTHOR IS INFALLIBLE! I’m looking at you Arthmoor. And your followers. If you’re reading this, you’d do better if you’d cut the attitude and ditch the crownies, honestly. I don’t like you for those reasons as well as misinforming others. Seriously dude, get over yourself already. You’ve been doing this since Morrowind, so have I. And to others who are doing the same thing, I don’t like you either. Cut the crap already. Thanks. Any form of contact with myself will be resulted with deleting the message.

I rant for a reason. The things above is what’s KILLING the modding community. Scratch that. Killed. It’s been dead for ages. It’s just not come to realize it yet. So unless you want to bring back the days where we can contribute to each other, I highly doubt people like Arthmoor and others will want to comply. So you can thank them for snuffing out the modding community’s candle.

Been a while.. New changes, updates, closing, and in addendum.

So there’s some new changes that have been happening. Most of them with my own staff. Yes, STAFF. Most of these people are people that investigate the happenings on the Nexus, Steam, Google, and various other things. Now they won’t be posting ON here or anything of that sort, but these people do investigate some of the things I get in my email, namely because they have the knowledge of certain things that I do not possess. One of them being law. Now this doesn’t mean people have a free lawyer or anything like that. This is mostly to cover my rump on here to make sure that anything I say or do isn’t crossing the line of law. Sometimes I’ll ask them about a certain person’s case and what they can do. But they will never have access to the emails or comments that you’ve privately written to me. But sometimes I’ll have a post that includes ALL of us so just so you don’t panic, I’m not crazy. There are people onboard this project. 🙂

 

As for the huge absence, it’s mainly getting these people the support they needed. It’s pretty ridiculous that certain individuals who created an app can’t take 5 minutes out of their ‘busy’ lives to write a disclaimer on their site stating that they don’t agree or encourage the elitist bullying that their product generates, and after being accused of bullying myself, I quickly ended the conversation with that individual. Not only would he not listen, he keeps silent about it. Still. Since he ignored the people that he failed to help, I intervened. Not only that being accused of bullying when merely stating that these people were harassed, stalked online, threatened with some pretty heinous things. These things infected their real lives. And I’m the bully? For criticizing their silence that they encourage the bullying… Sounds to me like they need to figure out what side of humanity they’re on.

Anyways. Enough of that rant. For good. The main point of bringing that whole nonsense up, is that after months and months of helping these people, I’ve gotten them back to normalcy, or at least a form of it. There were charges filed. Seven to be exact. Four of them have seen justice, the other three are still pending civil suits. Some of them wanted to challenge the app creator in court as well, for allowing the engagement of the heinous behavior to continue, however not only would that case be dismissed, witchhunting them wouldn’t help the cause. These people would never win in a case against the person I talked to who misconstrues my words, twists them to make himself to be the victim, accuses the person criticizing his silence on the bullying of bullying, and furthermore stating that it would take ‘a lot of time’ to make a tiny little remark on the download page. They couldn’t win against that because there’s nothing illegally done there. But they did make a case where they could seek the justice that they needed and deserve. It’s bittersweet. These people got closure, but more could have been done on the app creator’s side, which is an epic disappointment and I’m not going to expect them to help with it. If they surprise me and do so, then maybe they ARE human. But so far they’ve shown me that they’re incapable of human compassion, empathy, and a lack of human emotion. It’s not that I found the person I talk to, or rather his actions to be disappointing, it’s the fact that he lacked these things when he talks to me unlike the way he did others on the Nexus. A complete 180 of the person I had thought him to be. I’d challenge them to prove me wrong by actually doing these things for what’s been happening rather than to prove me wrong, but I think that would fall on deaf ears. So that subject entirely will come to a very full, abrupt close.. For me at least. 

 

In closing, after these last three cases go through court (which will hopefully be by the end of this year), I’ll be closing this subject entirely of these people who were harassed. They’ve done phenomenally since when I first started talking to them. I talked to all of them bi-daily. Meaning I’d talk to half one day, and then the other half the next. After that, I passed the idea to them about having them all in one room on Skype that we all could talk it out. They not only agreed, they made their own network out of it. They helped each other. I got to know them, and I love each and every one of them and hope for the best for them. The biggest thanks they gave me was giving others the strength to take these issues head on. I’m very proud of their efforts in standing up when others are so silent. I intend to stay in contact with these people, not because of what happened to them, but because they grew on me. We’ve shared laughs, we’ve shared experiences. As I helped them, they helped me, which is something that I never expected them to do. To those that haven’t gotten justice yet, I hope you do.

 

As to those who are the subject of harassment, bullying, threats, etc. online to the point it affects your real life, take screenshots. Talk to someone about them. Be it a parent or friend/loved one, but if you feel in danger, contact your local police department. They’ll know the best thing to do.

Another Response to WithChristianEyes. (CAUTION SPOILERS DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS!)

Sorry for the rather angry disclaimer in the title. I just don’t want to be sued about not warning you even though Dragonborn has been out for ages. I haven’t even finished it, but yes, I know how it ends.

Now you may have read my prior post to her, explaining that while there are evil quests, doing them most certainly doesn’t break any kind of barrier in regards to morality, nor does it teach people that it’s okay to do some of these things. I also pointed out the difference between cannibalism and things like Vampirism and Lycanthropy rather than it being all the same thing. This post is in regards to “Skyrim: Dragonborn DLC, A Christian’s point of view”.

The first thing I’d like to correct the post on, is that while Hermaeus Mora have similarities with ‘The Devil”, he’s not. In fact lore suggests that he’s based more on Lovecraft rather than Biblical, and while I know that some Lovecraft lore IS based on Biblical lore, you can see the separation within the lore. It’s definitely not the same thing. How do I mean? Apocrypha.

Now you are correct about the current Christian point of view of the term Apocrypha, however the Oblivion plane itself isn’t like that. It is an endless library where all forbidden knowledge can be found. Stacks of books clutter and can reach as high as the illuminating green sky. The realm is haunted by the ghosts of mortals forever searching for knowledge. The Apocrypha according to the Bible is completely different. It’s not a plane of existence. The black ‘slithery arms’ as you called them are actually tentacles. What they’re used for, is hard to say; To keep the souls there in line, or to siphon from them or siphon them entirely, but one thing is for certain, they hurt.

But moving from that, you comment about how the Seekers are knowledge thirsty. Yes. But then you say this, “This is my take on them, anyway, which I see as the problem with seeking and using secret – usually false – knowledge, and which is the point of this dark and eery place.”

Now I’m going to throw out the term Occult, is that’s the proper term to what you’ve described. But the other problem with your view is that we don’t know if this knowledge is true or not. We don’t know what our ancients have done in our world, for all we know the Bible could be true all throughout it’s entirety. For all we know it’s not and Thor (hopefully looks like Chris Heimsworth) is really real. Sidenote: If he did look like Chris, I’d faint. Anyways, I digress. The fact right now is, things like that in our reality, we don’t know what’s true knowledge and what’s false knowledge. However in the Elder Scrolls lore, knowledge of the unknown in regards to the plane of Apocrypha, isn’t false knowledge. It’s a library full of knowledge that they’re sifting through, for eternity.

Then you go on to say this:

“Those who purport to have “secret” knowledge of Him in order to steer someone away from God’s revelation, are not working within God’s desires for mankind.”

While you are correct about this, it’s not applicable to the realm itself or Hermaeus Mora. He’s not like your deity. In fact, he’s more of a collector of souls. God didn’t assign a champion like Hermaeus did with Miraak. He had a son that was sacrificed. Hermaeus Mora, like I said is more like Cthulhu in many ways. Some things according to Atmoran legend from UESP; he is known as the “Woodland Man” who catches villagers lost in the woods; the secondary set of his name, Mora, is one word for “wood“, “woodland” or “tree(s)” in Elvish. Most Ysgramor myths are about escaping the wiles of old Herma-Mora. Now how does this relate to Cthulhu? A couple of reasons; Cthulhu wakes from his slumber and plunges the world into insanity (very watered down) which is similar to how Hermaeus Mora is being the Prince of Fate. Another isn’t a comparison of Cthulhu or Hermaeus, but the storyline is similar to those of Cthulhu’s cults would awaken upon near his release. Now I’m really watering down Lovecraft lore, but when you read Lovecraft’s stuff, you’ll find loads of similarities. The biggest similarity is this here. Pictures of both.

 

Hermaeus Mora
DB-npc-Hermaeus_Mora

 

Cthulhu:

220px-Cthulhu_and_R'lyeh

The biggest similarities of the two is what they look like. Where they’re derived from.

 

Then you go on to say this:

“While the Skaal have beliefs that mesh with scriptures, they have others that do not – they believe in reincarnation.  Conversations with fellow Skyrim players  about how reincarnation doesn’t at all mesh with a loving creator God, and how it is wholly incompatible with Christ’s message and work, is a possible real-world benefit of playing this game.*”

Now studying various other religions, just because they have a monotheistic practice doesn’t make it similar to Christ, God, or Christianity. There are several forms of monotheistic practices that are very much Pagan. There’s even eclectic Pagans who worship only specific deities from a whole pantheon. I think that’s a bit of a stretch there to be honest. While I encourage that you find similarities of faith in things like this, Skyrim and it’s DLC isn’t very comparable to the Bible, or it’s stories. The only faction that I can think of that has similarities of Christianity, is the Vigil of Stendarr and Daedra worshipers. To further this, you say this:

“But if you want to play a game that actually gives a nod to God and certain Judeo-Christian beliefs and virtues in today’s world, then Skyrim is an OK game for that.”

It’s not a nod. In fact there are many things I could say that they give more a nod to Pagan references than they do Christian, I don’t make those bold claims though. The truth is, the developers drawn from many religions, including Christianity. While I admire your recognition for a few, a lot of others are way off base and not entirely accurate. I don’t even think mine is, but from the discussion I had about your article to avid Skyrim players who are a mix of hardcore Christians, Pagans, and Atheists, most of them agreed that it seemed that you didn’t research the principles behind most of the things you talked about in your article. While it’s a good read, don’t get me wrong, there could be a bit more brushed up on in regards to delving into the research of these comparisons and expanding outward from them. You’ll find a motherload of information on UESP, ElderScrollsWikia, and various other places. I encourage you to keep going though. I don’t see enough people actually looking into these things, and while I disagree with a lot of things you’ve said in this article, I can tell that there was effort there. I can’t say the same thing about others in their comparisons.

Moving on, Legendary Skyrim, and best wishes. (I’m not going anywhere though)

So now that the previous huge post is out of the way I can finally start talking about the finale that is DLC of Skyrim. What can this mean for the modding community? Well since they’ve released the word of the Legendary Edition, we can expect that the updates may be finished. Which means that some of the modding community who like fixing those bugs can start finalizing their mods to a more refined finished product. Things like the Unofficial Patch mods, to things like fixing buggy textures, to even fixing Hearthfire’s limitations to a real abode of what people may want in their gaming experience. 

 

What will I be looking for? Uniquely voiced followers with unique dialogue and stories that tie in with them. The quests. The getting to know the character’s history. What do I mean by this? Take Farkas for example. You can only marry him after completing much of the Companion’s questline, but doing that, you learn so much about the character. You get to KNOW the character. I think the same is with Vilkas, though I haven’t tried that yet. I like to journey with a character, which is why I miss a lot of RP servers on Neverwinter. Who you partied with depended on what stories you were trying to push through. Skyrim in the beginning semi-sorta took advantage of this, by making some characters being spousable through questing. It gives the edge on that RPG storyflow. Some of them they didn’t.

 

What I hope people start getting into is in depth characters. From the followers that have been appearing on the Nexus, some of them have phenomenal backgrounds written on their descriptions. It’s those modders that I enjoy supporting as they take inspiration from the comments. What I find that’s a shame, is that there’s not many offers for voice actors. Not just on the Nexus, but even on Steam. It’s bittersweet. But I guess this is where improvised dialogue comes in. Especially with fanfics. Which is SOMETHING I swear I’m struggling with. These followers aren’t native in the game. They’re not of my own creation. So I have to improvise with the descriptions. I guess it’s something to struggle with for a while, but in the end, I think support for them will come eventually.

 

Then there’s more in regards to functionality and taste. Dawnguard adds a little bit of power play with the Vampire Lord and oh is it so tempting to play. I’m not sure though if it’s fanfic material, at least not yet in the game. So I’m thinking about scheduling it into further within the fanfic when I have time to play the game and sit down and write. But what else do I want to see in regards to functionality? Immersive herbalism. I remember a mod that made alchemy extremely immersive in Morrowind. To gather ingredients, it was tied to your alchemy level. I loved it. Not to mention there was an animation made that you could actually see your character pick the ingredients. If there’s a feature, lemme know. I’d love to see it.

 

Then we have the current status of ending. While I believe Todd Howard and the rest of the Bethesda crew made a hype at a convention that it would be a big year for Skyrim DLC only to find out that Dragonborn would be the final installment, was rather disappointing. I won’t disclose spoilers, but I will say this… The Thalmor have more potential than the civil war by far. If it wasn’t for them, the civil war wouldn’t be happening when you read about how the Great War ended which took place before Skyrim. They’re a huge catalyst in the storyline. I hope that ES VI does offer more with them. As for the hype of Redguard, they’ve been known to trademark their names and renew them so this isn’t any new surprise or disappointing news to me. I find it good that they’re actually being retroactive. It kind of inspired me to play the game Redguard, if I had an older system that could still support it.

 

All in all, it’s being called a finished game. If there’s updates, I hope that they’re not game breaking and I also hope that they add more things for free, like the spear animations and whips that relied on physics (at least the whips part is a rumor as far as I know). Hopefully the modding community can come together after there’s more word and help smooth out the rough edges of the game and finalize it further than it was intended. Good luck modding community, on all the sites that you exist on.

Being a Bystander, Silence is Acceptance. Elitism will not be tolerated. WE deserve better.

Apparently some people who have a very large following, don’t understand that when their followers start bullying and those people who have that following stay silent about it, that in turn condones in the bullying. You may have remembered an article that I posted about the bullying that’s happened due to the script extenders and the behavior of the elite. Is this their problem? No. Do I think that the Silverlock team could offer words of support? Yes. It doesn’t hurt to be proactive. Am I angry with them? No. Despite the words being put in my mouth on more than one occasion and accused of ‘bullying tactics’ even though I was answering his question quoted: “What did I do?” It’s not my fault that I answered your question with what’s been going on. This is why I chose to no longer engage in the dialogue as it was going in circles. I would say “I think these people need your support. Do you have to do it? No.” only to be returned in message with either “I don’t follow the Nexus forums” when it’s not just the Nexus and I’ve stated it more than twice. This is a global issue, not just the Nexus.

I’ve talked with a few of the cases that have been brought to my attention. One was a 16 year old with Down’s Syndrome, bullied across three sites and landed on his personal Facebook, calling him ‘retarded’. Not only did this strike him where it hurt him, it made it to his personal life, despite it being on the internet. There was another young woman, 17, who not only was bullied through extreme sexism, but she was told that this is why women get raped. There was another 16 year old male that was called ‘faggot’ because he couldn’t get the script extender to work and was followed from Steam to his personal Facebook as well who had an extremely homophobic family. There’s many other cases that I dealt with. Some not as extreme, others just as extreme. Some of these people I directed to services within their local community for help that range from anti-bullying seminars to places that have the proper channels to help those who have been treated heinously online. I draw the line at this as it’s affecting people’s real lives. I know what it’s like. I’ve been doc dropped on YouTube, more than once. I’ve even had people online stalk me physically because I wouldn’t date them. Do I think right now people are at risk of a possible compromise of safety? No. Do I think it could escalate to that point? Yes, and it could go either way. We’ve seen it happen with other situations of bullying and this one certainly isn’t any different.

In the email I linked what it means being a bystander. In the case with the script extender creators: “Most bystanders . . . passively accept bullying by watching and doing nothing. Often without realizing it, these bystanders also contribute to the problem. Passive bystanders provide the audience a bully craves and the silent acceptance that allows bullies to continue their hurtful behavior.” He says I was the first to bring this to his attention, when there was another blog that commented about the elitism. One that he answered questions for. Now this post isn’t about being vindictive or that I’m angry, rather this post is about being a bystander. The silence is condoning the behavior. What may have seem to be ‘bullying’ to this individual is the fact that I stood up to him. I asked for support for these people. Only thing I asked. Which would have been a disclaimer saying “We don’t agree with or condone the views of those who bully others for having problems.” A very small, simple request. While he chose not to, I will respect his wishes. I agree, it’s not his problem, as I’ve stated to him. But what I don’t agree with is his silence about it. Am I going to force him? No. Is this post meant to force him? No. This post is to make a record of some of these cases, and so that others who stumble on here who have been a victim of it can get support or be directed to where they can get the help they need.

I feel for these people. I’ve watched some of them cry on Skype. I watched some of them panic about some of the things happening. Some of them I’ve showed the emails to. Do they still blame the creators? Yes, but only for their silence. I don’t blame them. This isn’t just an issue on the Nexus, as I said to him several times and I’ll say here again, several times. It’s not just the Nexus. It’s any site that hosts several members of the extending community and their modifications to the game. These people are being bullied to silence because of a VIDEO GAME. He told me to look in the mirror about the post from before, I still stand by my words. Silence is acceptance of it. You asked what you did for it, I told you it’s what you didn’t do. If you’re going to accuse me of bullying for answering that question and caring for these people and trying to get them the help they need, then I’m guilty.

Am I demanding anything of the creator right now? No. Other than the no further communication. This is a battle I’m not choosing to fight. He said it’s not his job to ‘police’ the internet. Something far from what we were asking, but in the same sense after talking with some of these people, we’ll respect his wish. But in the same sense they also made it clear that they won’t accept or respect his silence. I can’t blame them for that.

If you’ve been a victim of heinousness online due to elitism of the script extending community or any other part of the gaming industry, I encourage you to write to me. Directions are in the Contact tab. Make sure that if you want your anonymity to remain, to say so, what I’m allowed to divulge and what I’m not so that way you aren’t furthering your risk further. I also encourage you to also look within your local community for anti-bullying groups if it’s affecting your real life if you don’t feel up to writing to me about it, but there are people that can help. I also encourage anyone who is being bullied for any reason to find help. You deserve better than what you’re being treated.

For those in the US here’s a couple hotlines you can contact as well. The first is for bullying, the other is for those who are being bashed who are part of the LGBT community.

Stop Bullying Now!: A resource website sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that addresses the warning signs of bullying, how to talk about bullies, how to report bullies and cyberbullying and offers a 24-hour help hotline for victims at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Trevor Project: A national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. They also offer the Trevor Lifeline, a 24-hour, national crisis and suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth. The number is 1-866-4-U-Trevor.

If you need more in your area in ANY regards to bullying, search your state, country or province with anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying on Google.

After this, I’ve decided to move my attention from the creator, rather how the product is affecting people negatively. My attention is more focused on the people that are victims to the behavior above who want me to tell their story and if they want it put on the public record, and stories about people on the Nexus who are banned for doing nothing wrong. Does this mean I’ll not respond to other blogs? Oh heaven’s no. I’ll still reply to other blogs; when I have time. Will I be updating my fanfic? Of course. When I have time. But in regards to the creator of SKSE? No. I feel that pursuing this is a lost cause. All I wish him is the best in his future endeavors as he IS a bright individual. The bullying is not his doing, and I humbly ask those who may be upset with him to not to press issue with him. Instead either go to places that you know will support you or talk to someone who will give you support about it, whether it be here, Facebook, or somewhere else. There are people that can help you, all you have to do is just reach out.

 

Another reason why I don’t like the Nexus.

The Clique mentality. I got a submission via Gmail today. It was a pretty interesting debate thread, the debate that was happening with this user was good until another user on there began to interject. While I agree that the lore was way off by the person who sent this to me,  it’s no reason to create the circle jerk at the end of the thread. The person who was wrong asked for sources where he was wrong. You said he was and how fallacies work, if someone is wrong, you have to bring evidence to the table that supports why their wrong. Not just their word. However, judging by the way you say ‘kool’ I’m going to chock it up to you being a prepubescent child rather than someone who knows how to use a public forum. The person who submitted this to me actually sent me something else prior, stating about how I shouldn’t hate on some of the people of the Nexus. Now they’re starting to realize why. They wish to remain anonymous, however they don’t mind my quoting this part of the email:

I don’t know where else to turn to. I don’t feel the moderators will do anything about this and I don’t want to get the banhammer. Long story short, I was in a debate thread and I merely commented about the Thalmor. What I had THOUGHT was lore, wasn’t as it was rudely pointed out that I was wrong. I asked for sites to where I was wrong and instead two members banter about how I was incorrect on lore, throwing it in my face, and obviously neglecting that I’m human. We’re all subject to naivety, but apparently to them it’s a crime. I don’t think it’s a whole community thing, but I think that it’s a serious issue. I stumbled on your blog a while back searching for others of the gay gaming community who happened to play Skyrim. I was excited to see that you did. I didn’t feel alone out there in the big sea of the Nexus. At the time I was a Nexus fan. I love most of the moderators on the Nexus and a few I haven’t gotten to talk to yet. When I seen your posts that were hating on the Nexus and it’s conglomerate of modders I was a bit turned off by the blog so I bookmarked it instead of followed. I even made several emails asking if this was all this blog was going to be about. When you didn’t respond I just assumed you ignored the email. After this though, I’m beginning to understand your irritation with the people of the site. What I thought would be just a back and forth of “You’re wrong, here’s why!” became “You’re wrong. You’re stupid. Get off my internet.” Wasn’t in those words though the way they came off felt like that. I tried several times to leave the debate, but they kept persisting and viciously trying to shove their opinion down my throat. I’ve never encountered that before on the Nexus. I’ve never had to use my ignore preferences to block two people on the site. Now I could have gone to a moderator, however after that happened I didn’t really know where I could turn and it brought me back here. I read through more of the posts you’ve written. I feel like if I go to a mod, they’ll just explode the whole issue and ban me or them and I don’t want that. I left amicably despite me being irritated about how I was treated. I was nothing BUT respectful in my posts. When one of them commented about my editing, it was to make sure I wasn’t crossing any lines and kept it as civil as possible. They keep escalating it and yes, while I could ask a moderator to intervene, I don’t feel I can trust them with this issue. They banned someone earlier today because of ‘piracy’, but the user merely said that he deleted the data in the MyGames folder. I just don’t know what else I can do without further perpetuating the drama and after seeing that ban, I feel like I can’t trust going to them for help.

This is a prime example as of why the Nexus has a lot of us on the sidelines hating on it. If I find this person is banned because they didn’t know where to turn, I won’t be a happy camper. First off, I hope you read my reply that I sent. I feel for you, I really do. I think while yes, you were wrong and needed educated on the matter they didn’t need to bash you like that. Secondly, just ignore it. They’re no better than people who are blatantly snobbish, rude people with chips on their shoulders. I promise you, it’ll go away. If you get messages, just say that you wish to be left alone. If they don’t comply, block. If they start making posts about you, let me know. Screencap it and send it to me. I’m very interested in things like that.

I left all names out of this to protect your anonymity. I hope the Nexus is reading this. If you want to help the person in question, you contact me so I can send the contact information to you. If not, then I’ll continue to defend those that are being victimized by those of your site. Yes, victimized. Your cliques come close to crossing the line to cyberbullying. Your members aren’t trusting you, this email alone is proof of that and I hope to hear from others. A few weeks ago your site was infecting PCs with trojans. You want to say that your site is safe? Pardon my french, but it’s pretty damn clear that it’s not. Please, don’t be afraid to submit things to my email. I’ll be sure to respond more, especially issues concerning the Nexus. And to the Nexus, what you should be doing, is explaining these things. Why these things are allowed to happen? On your knees, NexusForums. On your knees.

The SupernaturalKath Steam-gate scandal and tips to protect your modding identity and integrity

Okay,  so after surfing Reddit I found out that there was a bunch of mods stolen from the Nexus by a user going by the handle of SupernaturalKath. While I think very VERY lowly of this person, I’m seeing the term DMCA, copyright, and many legal action words in between through searching the username. Reddit, The Nexus, Lover’s Labs, random wordpresses… I encourage you all to read the EULA that was sent out with the creation kit. It states that you, the creator, WAIVER all rights to copyright. While you can file a DMCA, the only thing you’d get out of it is having the content removed and it really isn’t punishable by law. It’s not a crime, not yet at least. Unless you uploaded it on Steam first and they imburse you for views and downloads, you can’t prosecute criminal action unless they put it back up somehow, or they plaster it far and wide. You can still file one, but like I said, only thing that would have happened was that the content would be taken down. I wish they would redact the EULA to protect mod authors better. I really do. But here’s a few tips on how to protect yourself if you’re a modder!

When dealing with a bust like this, the important thing is to put something that is recognizable in the code somewhere where you KNOW they won’t know how to look or change. It’s so easy to change the name of the author on a mod, but it’s not so easy editing hidden scripts somewhere. When I was making scripts for servers on Neverwinter, that’s what I did. I encourage others to do so. Just type “//” without quotations and type your name or something that identifies you in the mod. Make sure you hide that small script somewhere where it will be almost IMPOSSIBLE to track down. That will help identify that the mod is indeed yours. If they nix it, have a fail safe. Object references will do too. Textures. Dialogue that never gets tied to the game. There’s MANY things you can do to protect your modding identity and integrity.

 

As far as the fiasco goes, I’m sure this isn’t the first time SupernaturalKath/Kath15 has done this. I’ll be doing some digging to see if I can’t find out what this person has also done.

 

To the modders who had their content stolen, I’m here with you and I am so sorry that you’re enduring this. I understand that you may be a tad upset with my commenting about how it really isn’t a criminal action. You feel it is, I understand it all too well. I did the same steps as you, but sadly mine didn’t pan out, being the content was allowed to remain, even after the DMCA. It’s all about that EULA and what exactly you can copyright. You created the content, however the tools presented to you, you didn’t. Bethesda words it so specifically that you can’t make money (unless through Steam and that’s in their EULA) on your mod, you can’t file for it to become copyrighted content. Some people are throwing around that any content someone makes is copyrighted. Modding with games, come from ideas. Ideas we share freely. We can’t copyright that. We can DMCA it, but think of it this way. If you’re in one country and SupernaturalKath/Kath15 is in another, in American currency (you’d be paying so much money, around six figure digits for international lawyers and international court costs) to actually try to pursue legal action where they’re tried as a criminal. This is why the DMCA system exists. Since the files are down though, I do wish you congratulations on busting this asshat, pardon my french, but yes. This does more than infuriate me. I’m absolutely livid that the Nexus and SteamWorkshop doesn’t protect your mods better. I’m really sorry this happened to you and I hope that you’ll still be modding in the future after this. The sites in question couldn’t do anything about it, but our modding colleagues did. They spread this story far and wide and got the user banned. That’s something you don’t see every day.

A slight delay with the fanfic and a response to a blog. (Which is long winded, update of the fanfic is top most paragraph)

Okay, so the first matter up for debate is the fanfic. I know it’s progressing slowly, but I’ve run into a bit of a snag in regards to the followers I want to feature. I’m still awaiting answers on history of two of the followers, and yes, they’re custom, and yep, I’m totally giving the links on the fanfic when I introduce them. I’m also listening about the chatter about new resources to place into the mod I’m editing for personal tastes and will be featured in the fanfic, however the changes will not be for download as the original mod author is still brainstorming on placing these things into the mod, and I’ve been keeping tabs with that. These are the modders in which still has me going to the Nexus. If they weren’t there, I certainly would be where they are. They’re very kind, grateful for downloads, and very humble people. I love them and their creations dearly as it’s not just playability or availability of troubleshooting with them, it’s also that they push the envelope in regards to things vanilla. (Other than DLC of course which sometimes is needed). To them, half of this fanfic wouldn’t be possible. I ❤ yew gaiz and thank you for putting up with my incessant barrage of emails of ideas, questions, concerns, and mindless chatter. To me, you are the reincarnation of the modders that existed on Planet Elderscrolls. I hope to see your work by you on there someday. 😀

 

And now to the blog. I was surfing WordPress blogs about Skyrim. I came across one called “withchristianeyes”. Now, before I start off picking this apart, let me just warn people who may be heavily religious, to not take this personally. I’m a Pagan, I respect your beliefs, but some of these things I have to address and I’ll address them as amicably as possible without going into tangents. For my readers, here’s the blog post in which I’m replying to: http://withchristianeyes.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/on-skyrim-a-vent-from-a-christian-parent-a-mom-who-plays/

 

So the first post talks about the game, the lore, which WithChristianEyes, you got most right, however to explain how Talos became to be a god and the worship of Talos was not banned by the Imperials or the High Elves themselves, rather it was the Aldmeri Dominion. Talos was a man ordained into a god by reverence. Not by divinity. Talos is called a ‘mortal god’. Talos (his birthname and deity name) was born in Atmora (mainly Nordic) and then traveled to Skyrim when old enough where he learned the ancient art of the as well as the strategies of war from the chieftains there. He led the invasion of Old Hrol’dan, taking it back from the High Rock Witchmen and was his earliest military victory. Soon after storms grew, foreshadowing about the Greybeards about to speak. He traveled up their mountain that they called home and met with them as nearby villages were evacuated. The Greybeards took off their gags and spoke his name, causing the world to shake. They also predicted that he would one day rule, but he would have to go south to do so. (Paraphrasing the wiki by the way.)

 

He later became a general of the Colovian Estates under King Cuhlecain. He later met with the combined army of Skyrim and High Rock who were against the King and after a demonstration of his Thu’um, Skyrim’s army had allied with him because they knew him to be the son of Skyrim. The Bretons from High Rock however, didn’t and Talos was nearly killed by a High Rock Nightblade who slit his throat and managed to kill the King. Talos could no longer use the Voice, however continued to command Tamriel with a whisper.  He took the Cyrodilic name Tiber Septim, as well as “Ysmir, the Dragon of the North”, the Nordic Name of Kings. So the Nords worship him as the Son of Skyrim, the man who brought Cyrodiil and finally all of Tamriel together. Hence why they revere him as one of the Nine Divines. A mortal god. A man revered so much, that they made him one of the Divines. The Aldmeri wanted him removed because they think 1) they shouldn’t revere a man as a deity and 2) because they wanted to damage the morale and control the Imperials. Hopefully this clears up the question of lore in regards to Talos and how he became to be a mortal god.

 

Now for the second thing. In regards to ‘bad characters’. I’ve been playing RPGs since I could talk. I’ve played DnD tabletops since I was a wee little boy (started at 6), and when Neverwinter came out, I was on their roleplaying servers playing both good and evil characters alike. The thing with this is one has to remember; it’s a game. Just because someone plays an evil character doesn’t make them inclined to be a bad person. It’s teaching kids from right and wrong is where this comes into play. Right now with my fanfic, I’m playing a darker character, but he’s not really all that evil. He’s cocky, he’s brazen, he’s witty, and he’s decisive. He thinks on his feet and plays speed chess constantly in his head. But what would be deemed evil is how he experiments with Necromancy. Now I’m not going to spoil things yet as there’s a reason why he experiments with both Necromancy and Alchemy, and granted it probably couldn’t happen canonically. But what I hope to accomplish is how it drives him. He has a goal. But he won’t hesitate to off someone who stands in his way, he won’t hesitate to steal to survive. But with characters that I’m introducing into Skyrim are put in to potentially sway him from doing these things. This is why it’s an RPG.

 

I’ll give another example about some of the evil characters I’ve played. I used to play on Neverwinter Nights multiplayer servers a lot. Especially the RPGs. I was playing in a modern horror survival mod, with zombies, and I was catching up on a lot of the soap operas I loved watching with my mom as a kid. One character in particular, was Sheila Carter. I loved her story so much. I loved how scary she was. So, I brainstormed and made someone similar. A reason for her being bad, though, was key. See, it’s one thing to do bad things in a game in with roleplay. It’s another to show WHY they’re bad. It often drives for a thicker storyline and possibly even rehabilitation in a sense of the matter down the line. But rehabilitation only goes so far in regards to triggers, giving them emotion, giving them that life they need to run through the pages of a book or in the cyberworld, run around your screen. I played this villain, and I enjoyed playing her. Not because I was doing bad things, but because I could see the reactions of other players. She would make them think twice, but she’d also help them when the undead were about to devour them. Which was a big thing for my character. It was all about the roleplay. It encouraged me to make her do things in such a way it scared other characters, but their players behind them were wanting more. Playing bad isn’t bad. Sometimes it’s compelling to see what effect it has on the story. Just like physics, each and every action has an equally opposite reaction. Sometimes it just takes longer for those actions to catch up.

 

Now the third thing, I’m going to quote you on this: 

The problem with Skyrim is that it is made by a corporation seeking the largest possible market (the Elder Scrolls series did not start out this way, and previous games were more specifically moral).

 

Now I’ve played all the games, their spinoffs, to me they were about the same. Not in regards to gore or any of that, but for instance Morrowind, to literally advance in a quest you had to undress your character down to your skivvies. What’s worse, is the guy that makes you do that, is INCREDIBLY flamboyant. As a gay man, he scares the rainbows out of me. In Oblivion, in the Shivering Isles, you had Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. I don’t mean this to be vulgar in any way, but with seeing how eccentric (for the lack of a better term) he was, I could see him eating a baby while reciting nursery rhymes. That’s not beyond him. If you attacked him, he’d teleport you high in the sky, where you freefall to your death on his altar. That to me isn’t very moral. Daggerfall had the image of a naked woman in it. Arena, was probably the tamest of them all, but mostly irritating because the game kept getting harder and people complained of not being able to leave the first area. But they were not specifically moral. Not in regards to consumerism and the developing engines throughout the years. Thus showing that not only am I a gay pagan, but I’m a nerd as well. Or a geek. I’m not so sure anymore. Anyways! Moving on!

 

This next part I’m going to quote you as well on:

While the Dovahkiin – your character, the Dragonborn – is SUPPOSED to be a good SAVIOR type of figure, the player can choose to do all kinds of evil things.

 

This is where many will correct you. Just because in the main quest of the game, you’re playing a hero, doesn’t mean that you’re perfectly good and just. Prime example? Darth Vader. He saved his son from being killed by Emperor Palpatine in the last installment of the Star Wars films in regards with the Skywalker Saga. Just because you’re defeating an evil make you good, just as defeating a good doesn’t make you evil. It’s about the balance of applicability of both parts respectively. The lyrics of The Dragonborn, they’re talking about the Dragonborn freeing them from the destruction of The World-Eater. They can still be evil and still have that honor.

 

Then you talk about the Thieves Guild and compare it to Robin Hood, while you’re semi-correct, there are contradictions with that statement. In previous installments of the series, you didn’t take from the rich and give to the poor. You just stole things in hope that you wouldn’t get caught. Skyrim brings a more interesting feature, which you can potentially usurp Blackbriar’s ties if you CHOOSE to, however she doesn’t control the Thieves Guild itself. Rather it’s the Nightingales.

 

Then you go on about the Dark Brotherhood. Playing Morrowind and it’s expansion Tribunal, the Dark Brotherhood has always been about assassins, as well as the Morag Tong and then you had the crime syndicate, The Camonna Tong. Each involved with assassination, stealing, and what not. Completely different than the Thieves Guild. Despite Blackbriar’s involvement with both factions, they can’t be compared. 

 

Now we go into vampires, which have existed in the game since it’s first installment Arena, however they make the player contract vampire diseases. I don’t think it’s possible (as I’ve not played it extensively to even try as the game even frustrates avid gamers like myself), however I may be wrong. I know this for sure, vampires have always existed in The Elder Scrolls series. If people want to play as the creatures of the Night, they can. I know in Daggerfall, you could become a vampire. Did I? Nah. It was almost equally as frustrating to play as the first game, but I digress. The point is, vampires, some people play them, some people even cure themselves of vamprism, but one thing is for certain, it’s pretty much a role playing element. Not a core one. Now in regards with Dawnguard? You can go on either side, and even be cured. I understand why you’re icky about it, but I hate to quote the incredibly awful movie, but as the meme itself is; What do they eat? Or rather drink? Blood. Humanoid blood in that of the mythos to The Elder Scrolls.

 

Now I’m moving on to your post about Lycanthropy and I need to quote you on this so my readers can understand why I’m bringing this up.

Werewolves and the Companions.  Being a werewolf in Skyrim can be only a matter of being stronger once a day, but there is the option to feed off of a human (cannibalism) in order to maintain the form a bit longer.

One of the things that has been massively studied throughout most of the series is this. For one is when Morrowind brought it in through Bloodmoon. In regards to Hircine, in which in the Companions quest of Skyrim, Hircine hunts Lycanthropes and those in which are to participate in something called The Great Hunt. Lycanthropes aren’t considered as cannibals. In order to gain perks (I’ve played the quest extensively with Dawnguard installed) you have to eat the hearts while in Beastform and adds 50 health points plus an additional 30 seconds of howling around as a werewolf. This really doesn’t make it cannibalism as you’re a werewolf. Etymology and culturally speaking, when a person is to supposedly transform into a wolf (werewolf), they take on it’s mind and body. This isn’t cannibalism, it’s just how the design of it works. Even various ancient cultures who believed in werewolves or something similar, that when it would devour the heart, it would take on the victim’s strengths. Only IN human form would it BE cannibalism, which I’m not going to deny that there IS cannibalism in the game (Namira’s quest), however it has major ramifications and most only complete the quest to have the artifact to stash somewhere in their home. I’ve done it, I know many on the Nexus that does that. Doesn’t mean you have to agree with it and it doesn’t mean you have to do the quest, but a lot of the grievances I seen in this wordpost, is things that are deemed taboo in modern day culture, and I can understand why, but when you really get down to it, while The Elder Scrolls has many similarities in regards to culture, it’s not just modern culture. Rather they’re taking both historic and modern cultures, and making it interesting enough that if it entices people to learn about our real world cultures, that they have a background of handling the culture in the sense of what is modern culture, and what is historical culture. 

 

Then you go on with this:

 A problem with this, however, as with the evil groups and quests in Skyrim generally, is that the player must choose not to do a lot of available game play.  As an adult I’m not very tempted to join the evil groups and do evil things, but for a lot of young people these might be tempting (especially in the presence of peer pressure).  I do think Skyrim has A LOT going for it compared to other games: visual and musical beauty, complexity (good luck trying to decipher all the purposefully conflicting books and dialogue regarding the history and religion of not only Skyrim, but that of the continent it’s on, Tamriel), historical and mythological aspects, etc.  As a Christian parent, I think it’s OK for older kids to play as long as the parent(s) knows about the game and is at least somewhat involved with their kid’s gameplay.

 

I have to strongly disagree with you here. Much of the game is randomized, not to mention the fact that many quests have different outcomes on what you chose. Going back to the earlier point of evil and good; Who saved Luke Skywalker from Palpatine? Vader. He was as bad as they get. Just because someone plays the bad side of quests doesn’t mean that they’re going to be pressured into doing these things in real life. If I were to do some of the things that my character will be doing in my fanfic… Only way I could do it in real life is through LARPing, which… I hate LARPing. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s Live Action Role Play. For an example of LARPing, here’s a video.

If I were to do this on the street in real life, that would get me horrendously laughed at, I used to do LARPing, though in Dagorhir, which got me exercise as well as training with some of the mundane weapons used in many medieval/fantasy games. That part was fun, but being in character? Nah. Not my style. 

You also say this earlier in your post:

 

I think the Gildergreen quest is actually a good lesson in deciphering information and choosing to do the better thing.  Skyrim is full of mental and moral exercises such as the Gildergreen quest

 

Well, yes and no. I won’t hint at any spoilers in the main quest, however when it comes time to kill a certain NPC and you don’t want to, you begrudge a leader of a faction. There are fixes for it for the PC version, but this is what The Elder Scrolls is, decisions and how your character evolves through those decisions. This is what a RPG does, or rather supposed to do. But it doesn’t mean that if a person decides to play a character that does bad things in the game, that it encourages it. That’s the social stigma of much of the media today. People who listen to Marylin Manson or Cradle of Filth get called Satan Worshipers. As a Pagan, I listen to these bands, but I also listen to Enya, Sarah Brightman, Epica mashes symphonics (classical and choir) in with metal, I listen to Il Divo, and I can’t get ENOUGH of soundtracks of movies and games. But in the town I live in, if I show one hint of liking to groups like Cradle of Filth, I must be a devil worshiper. There’s no devil in my path, nor is there any deity either. It’s why it’s my path. It’s a personal movement. When I was a Christian, that’s what it also taught me, is that no two (no matter how similar they may think) people believe alike. It’s why religion is a personal movement and why there’s so much trouble in today’s society. We haven’t learned that lesson yet. Games like The Elder Scrolls helps us identify these problems subconsciously and recognize how to rectify them in the sense of right and wrong. Some people see my practice as wrong, others don’t mind. Now that’s not talking about the acts of violence. Every thing has a violent side, but the point I’m trying to make here is that, it’s a game. A game that has similarities to our reality. While one could try and argue that it has sway over reality, I can argue that it’s a socially stigmatized element created by people who are ignorant (not saying that you are, but this is our world as a whole of MANY religions) on what is taboo and applying morality to the taboo.

 

In closing.. When I first started playing The Elder Scrolls games, it was the first time I actually was enticed by a video game to learn about the cultures of our world, the society we live in, and how things have changed. That to me, says a lot about the game in regards the market. Hardly any others come up to par with the interactions, the story, and the feel that compelled me to go out and learn about the world we live in. I’ve seen some of your other posts (which I’ll have replies to a few) and I see you making comparisons, which I think is a good thing despite if they’re correct or not. That’s exactly what The Elder Scrolls has been trying to do. I highly recommend playing through the other games and watching these similarities. Especially Morrowind. It goes into GREAT detail and the story is phenomenally well put together in regards to religion and how modern religions (not singling any religion out because A HECK OF A LOT do this) will demonize an act or a path. Religious paths should be solitary as well as be walking in unison in a friendly manner rather than all these different religions fighting for who’s right or wrong. That’s what I get from these games. The lesson behind them all, playing them from the first and to now.