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Elder Scrolls Panorama Shots 99

Johnny wrote to mention new images up on the site, for the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Enjoy some late-night images of sprawling countrysides and dank dungeons. They also offer images of Half-Life 2 and Need for Speed : Most Wanted.
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Elder Scrolls Panorama Shots

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ironically, these render slower than the actual game.
  • DON'T SKIP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mboverload ( 657893 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @10:16PM (#14995999) Journal
    The second fullscreen pano is simply amazing. I'd buy a plasma and put it in my window to see these shots.
  • My computer can't even run the panorama at a stable framerate. This doesn't bode well for the actual game.
    • That's quicktime for you, slow as a wet week. Run the Java VM, it'll have to run an order of magnitude quicker.
    • My computer can't even run the panorama at a stable framerate

      At least yours runs them. Both IE6 and Firefox crashed as soon as I try and pan around them. Click-scroll-crash. Fun!

      In any case, these are simply amazing. I recommend everyone who likes these take a look at some videos of the game []. They have some new ones on there I haven't seen yet, but I've watched all the E3 Demo videos and those are amazing.

      This game truly blows everything else out of the water in terms of sheer scope and graphical achievem
      • Love it but I've found a really annoying bug.

        It goes like this.

        • Fighting in a dungeon (Pale Pass). Decide to run from the skellies. Run out the dungeon. "Enemies nearby" so I cant use fast travel to get home.
        • Run across the outdoor zone. "Enemies nearby" so I still cant use fast travel to get home.
        • Run through a long tunnel. "Enemies nearby" so I STILL cant use fast travel to get home.
        • So I stand and wait for 5 minutes for these enemies to appear. Nothing. Still get the "enemies nearby" message.
        • So I run
        • go back to the dungeon and wallop all the skeletons? :)

          Job done?

        • What do you expect? This was developed windows-only, so they missed the chance to find all those bugs which they would have found if they ported it to linux/mac in the first place.
          • So, you are saying that this kind of bug only is found when porting to another platform? That's intresting. I thought you'd find bugs by testing the software, no matter what platform you are developing for.

            Okay, stuff like memory corruption can sometimes be found more easily when porting, but this is clearly a logic bug that doesn't have to do anything with the platform it runs on.

            Yes I would like to have the game on Linux too. But it honestly, it would be just as buggy there as it is on Windows.
        • It's not a bug. Clearly you have an unrealistic picture of the post 9/11 world. You won't be able to rest until you've killed every possible "enemy" i.e. every NPC.
    • Thats because it is a quicktime panorama. Quicktime is not a very well writen program (expecially on windows). It is not hardware accelerated. Bascially, your computer is doing mathmatical warping of a GIGANTIC image in real time to wrap it around you in a sphere. I used to do work creating QTVR 360 panoramas. Not fun stuff, even on a dual P3 800 (top of the line back them).
  • I'm in love. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stoutlimb ( 143245 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @11:04PM (#14996129)
    I just saw the screenshots, and combined with my experience with the previous game, I can say I'm in love already.
    • I bought it impulsively last night, having never played any games in the series. I haven't been this entranced since Ocarina of Time. It feels so real it's scary - this game is what role playing is all about.
  • Oblivion is by far one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. I've never thought about upgrading my gaming rig just for a game, but for Oblivion, I will. I currently have the following.

    Athlon XP 3000+ (Barton 333)
    Soyo KT400 Dragon Ultra
    Ati Radeon X850XT
    2 Gig PC2700 DDRAM 1x1GB, 2x512GB
    • Aww, damn...I have an AMD64 3200, x800 Pro 256MB, and 1GB...this is pretty much exactly the recommended system and I was hoping I could scrape by. I mean, I'm getting 70fps at 1600x1200 in Half-Life 2. I was going to upgrade just the RAM pretty soon, but you're already sitting at 2 gig and talking about upgrading.

      Here's a good question: anybody played Oblivion on a dual-core system yet? Oblivion was supposed to be the first game to natively support dual-core at launch. I want to know if a dual-core system k
      • I know some people who are playing Oblivion on a dual core rig. The don't "kick nads", but both cores are used indeed (>60% load for both) and Oblivion isn't CPU-limited on these rigs (one issue that many people in Oblivion have is that when you get a "good enough" graphic card such as an X1900 or a 7800GTX+, or a 7800/7900 SLI rig, and you crank up the details/quality your system becomes CPU-bound...)
      • My machine is a:

        AMD Athlon 64 3500+
        nVidia GeForce 6800GT
        1 GB DDR dual-channel ...and the game runs fine with good quality. The FPS will sometimes (but not that often) dip below 20, but it still plays very well. As in Morrowind, but even more so, you can do marvellous things with the Oblivion.ini file and people in community have already started tweaking the hell out of the game.

        You'll be fine, mostly, but cranking every damn setting up to max will probably bring your computer to a crawl. But you'd notice on
        • The FPS will sometimes (but not that often) dip below 20, but it still plays very well.
          I've never understood how people can stand dips below 60 with a first person perspective. The instant you move your mouse to face a different direction the low framerate becomes apallingly noticeable.

          I've no problem with 30 FPS in RTSes and 2D platformers, but I simply can't tolerate it in first or third person shooters.
          • Ah, I don't know. I guess it's what you expect or are used to. Hell, I can barely tell a difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS, anyway. Or maybe more like 40 FPS and 60 FPS.

            I suppose I have a high tolerance level, too, because I've used older hardware with newer games for long periods of time. :) I'm just glad I don't have to put up with 15 FPS and lower anymore.
    • I have a quite dated gaming machine. Quake4 was the first game I could not play due to low FPS. I am tempted to buy Oblivion and see how it runs, but I am trying to hold out until I upgrade. I will be upgrading to a rig similar to what you have. Right now I am looking at perhaps an Athlon64 3000+ or Sempron64 3300+, 2GB PC3200, and a GF 6600 or 7300 video card.
      • I am tempted to buy Oblivion and see how it runs

        If you have anything earlier than a GeForce 6000 series card (I can't name the ATI equivalent), it runs very badly. As for the game itself, I have mixed feelings. Go in with low expectations about the AI and stuff, and you'll probably be fine.

      • I have a 3000+ AMD 64 with a gig of RAM and a 6600GT. It runs fairly well though, I would recommend a 6800 video card at a minimum if you really want to turn most or all of the eye candy on.
  • Just think... (Score:3, Informative)

    by daeg ( 828071 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @11:23PM (#14996189)
    Just remember that Oblivion is built to scale with your capabilities. As graphics cards and computers keep improving, so will some of the graphics of Oblivion. Draw distance will get longer, texture blending will improve, and the shadows should scale, too.

    Gamers on various forums are starting to explore the expansive INI settings available. You can easily crash your game, but there are some promising improvements out there already of things that make the game look even better if you have the equipment to support it.

    In case you didn't know, the grass is generated by the game itself based on the climate and terrain type. The floor of a forest will be more sparse and rugged than open expansive plains where there is almost too much grass. When terrain gets too high/steep, the foliage thins.
  • Dark Brotherhood (Score:4, Informative)

    by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @11:29PM (#14996214)
    After you murder a few people, make sure you don't go to sleep in a dungeon filled with traps... the Dark Brotherhood representative will come to you as you sleep, offer you a position with them, then leave the dungeon-- walking THROUGH all the traps and dying, making it impossible to join the Dark Brotherhood. Bastards!

    Even in the most open-ended of games, and this is surely one, you can run into stuff the developers didn't plan for.
    • It would be great if game review sites had this...
      • The embargo and lack of review copies is a good indicator that a game has problems. As is, overwhelmingly positive "reader reviews" showing up within an hour of daybreak on the east coast aren't a good sign either.
        I didn't notice it before hand, but they never show you more than a few meters around you in their screen shots? There's a really good reason for that...

        I'm not saying it sucks, I've not even played it (I will buy it, eventually). But I did play some of their other games.
        Morrowind got into a playa
        • It's brilliant (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          The draw distance is startlingly far on the PC version. Yes, it's noticeable... but less so than most of the games we were playing in 2001. And what it draws... oh my gosh. It's beautiful.

          Unlike Morrowind, it also actually has gameplay. All sorts of little things that never made sense in Morrowind are fixed here. You can tell which of your goods are stolen. You can tell which things you're not legally allowed to touch, so that when you go for them, you at least sneak first. There's a visibility meter. The s
          • by Anonymous Coward
            All sorts of little things that never made sense in Morrowind are fixed here. You can tell which of your goods are stolen.

            When i got Morrowind and played for a few hours i thought i'd gonna love that game but all that stupidity about stealing totally ruined it for me. Add to that all those crates in open places, you could legally take stuff from most of these, but take from some others and you had someone shouting 'Thief'. Yuck! If they fixed that i might give it a try. Hmm, maybe i should try a pirated ver
        • >>The embargo and lack of review copies is a good indicator that a game has problems. As is, overwhelmingly
          >> positive "reader reviews" showing up within an hour of daybreak on the east coast aren't a good sign

          Actually, it is a very very good game (though it has its bugs, like all Bethesda games).

          >>I didn't notice it before hand, but they never show you more than a few meters around you in their screen
          >> shots? There's a really good reason for that...

          Thats because the
          • Re:Game Reviews (Score:3, Informative)

            by Wordplay ( 54438 )
            Go to My Documents\My Games\Oblivion and edit oblivion.ini. Search for [grass]. The first parameter (on mine) is grass density, defaults to 80. Knock that up a bit. The higher the number, the sparser the grass. You can find a nice balance between performance and looks that way, and the sparseness of it improves the visibility as you say. I like "160" myself.
        • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @07:21PM (#14999720) Journal
          I can understand your being circumspect in these days of PR hacks, paid-for review scores, astro-turfing and genuine fanboys. And yes, I do realize that you don't really have any guarantee that I'm not either, but I'll throw my 2p in anyway.

          "I didn't notice it before hand, but they never show you more than a few meters around you in their screen shots? There's a really good reason for that..."

          The biggest slow-down on my machine was the grass, and I suspect that's the really good reason there: grass makes for great screenshots, but really _kills_ frame rates unless you lower the rendering distance. On the bright side, you can turn it off, which helps performance a _lot_. (On the even brighter side, turning it off makes all the alchemy plants much easier visible.)

          And that's just one option. There is really plenty of room to tweak the graphics even more than that. You can turn it all down to really low res and polycounts, or play with the render distance, or whatever. Heck, you can easily turn it into something that's lighter on the graphics than Morrowind was. (Not that it'll look much better, but you won't need much better hardware either.)

          "I'm not saying it sucks, I've not even played it (I will buy it, eventually). But I did play some of their other games."

          I understand why someone would want to extrapolate from previous experience and take (semi)informed guesses when making a personal decision (e.g., buy it or not), and indeed we all do all the time. Unfortunately, that doesn't really offer any guarantees about Oblivion. In the end, it can be good, or it can be bad, or something in between, regardless of what the previous games have been like.

          "Morrowind got into a playable "ready for release" state about the time the first expansion came out. "

          Morrowind had many problems, yes, but Oblivion isn't Morrowind. It's not just that it doesn't have the same technical problems, it also doesn't have the bland NPCs and generic quests, etc. In other words, if you consider the first expansion what Morrowind should have been, well, then you might actually like Oblivion. It's far closer to Tribunal than to Morrowind in most aspects.

          "Daggerfall, never did become a workable title."

          Oblivion isn't Daggerfall either. Heck, even Morrowind, for its other problems, wasn't anywhere _near_ the Daggerfall disaster.

          "This is, I think, the kind of game Bethesda would release if it weren't for Microsoft's hand in the mix."

          I don't know if it's MS's hand or not, but that's OK, because I don't really care. All that matters is whether the game is any good or not. Exactly how much of it is MS's merit and how much is Bethesda's, is a best an academic exercise, but in the end it doesn't really matter. Either the game is fun or it isn't, and in the end that's all that matters.

          But if you want to talk about the games Bethesda did release without MS, those include releasing a FPS actually _before_ Wolfenstein 3D. It also featured driving vehicles and outdoors city scenes. Long before the big name FPSes featured any of those. And, yeah, you could run pedestrians down with the car long before GTA2. It just wasn't textured, but it was in every other aspect a better game than Doom or Quake that came _years_ later. Or they include stuff like Terminator: Future Shock, which invented full mouse-look. In effect, they invented the interface every single modern FPS uses. Etc.

          Even in the "The Elder Scrolls" category, Arena was pretty stable and a fun RPG (plus it had some amazing technical stuff, like having 80 _million_ square km of terrain, not counting the dungeons), and they had stuff in there that debatably wasn't even an RPG. E.g., Redguard or Battlespire. I.e., it included more than Daggerfall and Morrowind to base an extrapolation on.

          Heck, they even made at least one Mario game.

          So basically it's pretty hard to accurately paint Bethesda with a one-liner wisecrack. The stuff they did was really extremely diverse,
      • Why? I mean, they do... kind of, they suggest that the game is entirely open-ended (i.e. nothing stops me from going to sleep in the middle of a bunch of traps), and that the NPCs in the game carry on their own lives and their own activities (i.e. won't just disappear after the meeting, but will walk back to wherever.) The only thing this tells you about the game is that the AI isn't adept at avoiding traps, or at least not the AI on this particular NPC.

        I'm enjoying the game immensely despite that quirk,
  • by aurum42 ( 712010 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @11:34PM (#14996234)
    When reading about the immense excitement this game seems to generate among enthusiasts, I'm tempted to go out and purchase it. However, I did try Morrowind for a few hours (PC), and I was never engaged. I've played NWN, the Baldur's Gate series, and KotOR, and enjoyed them all, so perhaps I've been conditioned to expect a Bioware sort of game (although I've played through hack and slash-ish stuff like Diablo and Dungeon Siege, but wasn't really a fan) with the associated linearity. The whole clicking to swing your sword thing, and the washed out color scheme didn't really do it for me, but perhaps I should give it another try.

    Also, is a familiarity with Morrowind a pre-requisite to playing Oblivion?

    • Oblivion jumps into the game and quests much better than Morrowind did. At least for me, it grabbed my attention much better and puts you in the game, wanting to play. One thing to remember there are hundreds (thousands?) of side and mini quests int he game, the main story doesnt stretch all the game can do.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26, 2006 @12:19AM (#14996372)
      The Elder Scrolls games require a bit more investment from the player to make them work, but if you're willing to put in the effort they are massively rewarding. I started the series with Morrowind, and for the first few hours I thought I had made a mistake in purchasing it... it felt too open-ended, and I was too accustomed to being told what to do (even the BioWare games are more rigid than this). However, once I really started playing it became my favorite game ever. The only reason I'm here typing this right now instead of playing Oblivion is that I can't afford the necessary hardware upgrades.

      Familiarity with Morrowind is not necessary for Oblivion. All of the Elder Scrolls games share a common world, but take place in different areas and have independent stories. If you've played the previous games you'll likely get a bit more from the story, but it's not required to enjoy it.
    • by AlexMax2742 ( 602517 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @01:21AM (#14996521)
      Though I liked what it was trying to do, I hated Morrowind. On the other hand, I got Oblivion a few days ago and love it. Trust me, lack of engagement by Morrowind isn't uncommon, but Obvlivion totally compltetely makes up for it. All you give up is Levetation, Mark, Recall and the ability to twink your charactor to make things too easy (if you do twink your charactor to hell, the enemies will scale up with you and things get very very tough)
      • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @12:34PM (#14998218) Journal
        If improving your stats improves your enemies proportionally, what's the point of improving your stats?

        Serious question, no sarcasm.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26, 2006 @03:42PM (#14998980)
          In most games, if you could just set all your stats to max you'd be able to beat any creature in the game with a stick. You wouldn't need Fancy Sword of Smiting.

          In Oblivion it's different. If you just pimp out your attack stats, your enemies are going to be stronger in proportion. This has to happen because the world is so wide open. They don't know where you're going to go, and they can't put the stronger enemies "later" in the game.

          However, as your non-attack stats go up, you have more options open to you. Speechcraft and mercantile make it easier to get potions and equipment. Learning spells opens up new tactics. Most importantly, learning new alchemy recipes allows you to make excellent potions.

          The alchemy thing is *huge*. In many games, even if you know the combination for a lock or the recipe for soup, you're not allowed to make the soup or open the lock until a character tells you how. In Oblivion, if you know how you can do it anytime. Your stats will affect how long this takes, but they won't stop you as such.

          What's rewarded is therefore learning about the game world, not pimping your stats. Once you've read enough recipe books on people's shelves, learned about the history, figured out the enchantment system, etc, you can really trounce anybody you run into. Put another way, if there were PvP in the game, an educated player with decent stats would win against a novice player with maxed stats every time.

          Of course, if you look at a strategy guide this whole progression is toast, because it's inside you rather than enforced by the computer's dice. I like that. It annoys me that even if I know all the answers in Final Fantasy, I have to spend 45 hours pushing buttons. In Oblivion if I know all the answers, I can go straight to the places where the best weapons are stored, brew up potions, go to the master trainers.... It's my competence that determines my fate. So I stay the hell away from forums and strategy guides, and on the official Elder Scrolls forums the admins enforce the separation between the hardware, bug, and story discussion rooms with an iron fist.

          It's not perfect, but that's because they really are the only ones out there doing this kind of game. Trying to combine total world freedom with a decent gameplay progression is damn hard. GTA avoids the issue by mostly dumping the idea of progression. Final Fantasy dumps the freedom. Elder Scrolls tries to combine both, and they're getting closer.
          • Thank you. Excellent answer. Now you've piqued my interest.
    • Also, is a familiarity with Morrowind a pre-requisite to playing Oblivion?

      Not at all. And the graphics of Oblivion are much more lively than those of Morrowind (on the other hand, the plot not being set in Morrowind helps a lot, Tamriel's a lot more friendly country)

  • Well, at least this time I managed to get to the third panaroma before QuickTime crashed and took Mozilla with it.

    Two years ago I couldn't even load a single panormara without QT crashing, so I guess they're making progress...

  • Is anyone else running Windows XP 64-bit and able to run the iTunesSetup.exe? I'm getting the error: "The image file iTunesSetup.exe is valid, but is for a machine type other than the current machine."
  • play it on linux (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This game doesn't yet work with cedega [] (a commercially developed fork of wine for gaming), but it's now the #1 game voted for by subscribers so the folk at transgaming will be working on it.
  • Beautiful crates! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by lazuli42 ( 219080 )
    As technology continues to improve, crates and boxes in video games keep looking better and better. I can't wait to pick up this game so that I can go through it and break dozens of those gorgeous crates.

    Whoohoo! Crates!
  • I liked Morrowind and the advance shots of Oblivion looked great, so I picked it up the other day. Now I just wish I could play. My system's a little behind the curve, but it runs stuff like WoW and HL2 on around medium settings with no problems at all. However, I can't even get through the character generator in Oblivion on absolutely minimal graphics settings without crashing.

    Athlon XP 3200+
    1 Gig DDR RAM
    GeForce FX 5700 w/ 256 RAM
    etc and sundry.

    The worst part is my motherboard was of the last generation be
    • Ummm... This doesn't sound like your system is too slow. It just sounds like a bug in the game. Make sure you have the latest drivers for everything, etc. Inform the developer of the problem you are having, put the game back in the box and wait for a patch/update/service pack.
    • I'm in almost the exact same situation.

      XP 3400+
      1 gig ram
      ati 9800 pro 128mb AGP

      and my MB was the last generation before PCI express as well (they had a few intel ones out, but I wanted AMD). CPU is at 100%, so more CPU should help. And to be honest, the game for me is at least playable, but at 800x600 resolution, which sort of blows for a 2006 game. Turn the max view distance on and you can really see the difference.

      I'm sort of wishing I got an xbox360 and a VGA adapter (no HD TV yet). It would be cheaper th
      • You should be able to play the game, unless your vid card is holding you back and I don't think it'd be that much.
        FWIW I'm running the game on an AMD64-3500+ with 1gig ram and and ati x800xt aiw with all the eyecandy on (except hdr lighting, the x800 don't do that) and only get noticeably low frame rates (the occasional brief stutter) in crowded situations, and those usually improve after half a second or so as the game (I assume) adapts.
        My brother is doing fine with only mar
    • I have an almost identical system - A64 3400+/1GB but I have an AGP GF6600GT. The game runs quite well on medium/large textures @ 1024 (especially after installing the new nvidia beta drivers specially optimized for the game - rev 84.25). Perusing newegg I see you can get a 6600GT for 100 bucks now. Not a top of the line card but it's still quite powerful.

  • Gamespot gave this game an astounding 9.6 for the 360. Amazing game with no frame rate/performance issues at all 10 hours in.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.