DarkRider's Dimension

Home of the Rider's Elder Scrolls Adventures!


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12.July.09: Naked and Unsure

Posted by DarkRider on July 12, 2009 at 6:24 PM Comments comments (4)

Hail RST Fans,

Well this week has been an interesting one to say the least. So much has happened within the confines of these few days, both personally and in regards to progress.

I think my gran's death last Sunday morning took a harder toll on me than I first realized. As I tried to soldier on as normal, things began to crumble around me. They crumbled and I tried to hold it together, but the harder I tried, the worse things seemed to get. At this moment I feel a bit like a wounded lion in a cage. Some people come to the cage to taunt or challenge the lion and they get attacked. Some try to help the lion, but in his pain and distress, he maims them too. And some unfortunate souls, just choose the wrong place to strut their egos and end up within striking range. To anyone who has had a run in with the lion this week, you have my apologies, to either friends or foes. I don't wish anyone harm, truly. I will be withdrawing a bit from my usual forum haunts just to give myself space to reclaim my calm and to avoid any further unfortunate conflicts. I will return when I feel more myself again, so please, no one worry.

I don't usually share such intimate details about my life, but something told me to do so, perhaps admitting it to all of you, is how I can admit it to myself. So, thank you for your patience and your support always, my loyal Blades fans.

Okay, enough of my musings, on to more exciting tidings. I did not make it all the way through Chapter 3 of RST's quest build this week. Despite my best efforts, other issues with the mod decided to crop up. The most interesting seems to be a bit of rampant nudity amongst the Blades! As I was leaving the barrack Blade Lt. Owain came around the corner in his birthday suit! I thought it was hysterical....until the rest of the day shift paraded passed me on their way to the barracks, as equally undressed as the good Lt. There is a bit of leveled list confusion to sort out, and I had to shift gears away from questbuilding a bit to sort it and some minor puzzle issues from Chapter 2. All of that is taken care of now, so, by tomorrow I should be back at Chapter 3. I am about 1/4 of the way through this section of the Main Quest now, so there's a bit more to go yet. I look forward to Chapter 4, less talking, more dungeon crawling! LOL

My entry for the ORE Water Challenge was completed this week, so that will no longer be demanding any attention. I have sent my entry off to Shezrie for BETA testing and I'm eager to see if she passes inspection. This was a nice break from the technical side of RST's modding, to get back to basics with some simple cluttering was fun. I can't wait for you all to be able to see this one, she's quite a little gem if I say so. I'm not really expecting to win, I talk big to my competition, but that's just fun play chat. Reality, I have no delusions of grandeur, but it was nice to compete and to be challenged a bit! After she releases, I will upload some pics in the gallery here.

In other good news, the site changeover for TES Alliance is about to take place, The site will be getting a new look and a host of new features, including mod hosting! I'm looking forward to hosting RST on the Alliance! I was not expecting the recent flow of financial support from the Allies that brought the change about so quickly, so I had to hurry and finish the new site theme! LOL The techs are all on standby, and fingers crossed we could be unveiling the new site by Wednesday! I hope you modders will consider hosting your wonderful projects with TESA as well!

That's it for this update. This week I will be trying to finish Chapter 3 and start Chapter 4, I have asked WhoGuru to begin pulling dialogue into quest scripts for the voice actors to start work on. It's going to be a busy one.

Be well, my friends, and Happy Modding!


06.July.09: Into Darker Things...

Posted by DarkRider on July 6, 2009 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Hail and Fair Tidings, RST Fans!


Time to update the log and the rest of the site it seems! I know I promised you all an update on Sunday, but my poor old gran passed away yesterday morning so I spent the day with my family. No one is comfortable with death, but it is just another road, one that we all must take to quote a famous wizard. Life for the rest of us goes on and for me that means RST among other things.


Over the weekend I managed to get the RST Guards whipped into shape as planned; adding AI to 40 guards is no short bit of work! The village is now well guarded by several point guards and a couple patrolling. With the village being vastly comprised of Blades disorder is not very common, but troublemakers will spend some time in the brig. The brig is a bit different than standard jail, you don't lose skill points, but you will have consequences.


I also managed to smooth out the rough edges of the chapter two quest givers and the journal entries have a much smoother progression now. I have been able to play halfway through the ranking without issue and it's rather exciting to see it all going so smoothly for a change. There were so many issues kicking off the main quest, but it's really working out as planned now.


Here are the rank images I promised! I was going to include them in the opening post of the latest thread on BGS but I had to lose a couple links or the post wouldn't take on the forum; too long!

The latest thread makes number five! I remember back when I first got started on RST I had my first thread for months and it only had about twenty or so posts. I would see other projects with Thread IV and Thread VII and I always wondered how some projects got that kind of action! Now I know! It's good to see so many fans for RST, she's a great project and going to be among the biggest to release for Oblivion. It's been hard to watch some other big WIPz waver so close to failing; it makes me feel very humble and also, very grateful to all the fans who have supported RST for so long and all those modders who lent advice or the occasional hand to help me along the way. I can see this project really breaks the odds when it comes to release.


Today I start in on Chapter 3 and push to finish it this week even though it's a long one. There is quite a bit of story delivered in this chapter as we begin apprenticeship under a blademaster and strike out into the world. Working with Companion AI can be unpredictable, but we'll see how it goes.


I will update again next weekend at some point and let you all know how it goes!


Cheers, and Happy Modding!


26.June.09: Back In Lines

Posted by DarkRider on June 26, 2009 at 4:39 PM Comments comments (1)

Hail and Fair Greetings RST Fans!

Some good news at last, I have managed to breech the issue that had stonewalled progress for a time there, with the help of a couple coders whose Oblivion scripting knowledge surpasses my own. Progress on RST has now resumed swift progress. I have finished inputting all the generic dialogue with the exception of a few special lines I've asked WhoGuru to draft up for me. I am experiencing a persistent bug in chapter 2 where the NPCs are delivering a quest giving line before they should and spurring off the next part of the quest before the first part is finished. I am hopeful that Chapter 2 may be finished in this coming week. There are a couple character quest scripts ready to be posted in the hidden RST Voice Actors forum so actors will be able to start in on some quest dialogue.

In other news I have entered the House Modding Challenge being hosted by Meek/Shezrie of Oblivion Real Estate. The object is to build a house on water; a concept that sparked an idea in me. I have never entered a modding contest before and thought with so much time before the contest finish I could work on it a bit here and there. A little house mod would give me a welcome distraction from very technically heavy phase 02 of RST. Do not fear, my friends, RST is still my number one commitment and is right on track. Building for the ORE challenge is just fun bits I do when I need a break from staring at the questbuilder.

I hope you will all cheer me on to victory in the ORE challenge, and if you fancy building a house of your own, stop by the registration thread HERE and sign up. You will have to the end of July to finish your entry, and I hope you will!

So, in short, this week I will be trying to finish up Chapter 2 in RST's quest build. I don't foresee any other major issues in this chapter and some of the things I've learned will carry on into the next chapters as well. I do wish it was going faster, but you just can't rush some things. I'll post again soon, hopefully to announce the end of chapter 2 and the start of long chapter 3.

Happy Modding! :D


19.June.09: Hitting the Wall

Posted by DarkRider on June 19, 2009 at 2:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Hail and Fair Greetings RST Fans!

Time for another update. I wish I could say progress has been moving right along but I have hit a pretty serious wall in RST Main Quest build. It's one of those thing that is such a road block I can't even go around and come back to it as the story can't progress without a solution. I really really, REALLY, do not want to have to re develop Chapter 2 this far into the project. Unfortunately, if I don't find a solution, I may have no choice.

This new image is of the Blades Tournament Arena, where the Blades have tournaments to keep their skills honed and provide some entertainment for those who are in attendance. This is also where Blades are tested as they progress through their training, and where the player will be tested as they progress through the RST Main Quest.

I will be posting a new update when I have breeched the wall that is holding things up, hopefully that update will come soon, keep your collective fingers crossed!



31.May.09: Reclaimed at Last!

Posted by DarkRider on May 31, 2009 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Hail and Fair Greetings Blades Fans,

Thought I'd pop in for another log update. This seems like the best way to keep information extended as I work my way through the RST questbuilding. My most recent plan of doing all non essential NPCs first basically flopped. I found myself in this weird limbo where, to place NPCs and get their AI going I needed queststages, but to create quest stages, I need NPCs in place. Quite a conundrum. :roll:

I finally took a deep breath and plunged in, starting at the beginning. I downloaded a MQ Complete savegame and created a clean save for testing purposes, then began building in earnest. As I build, I add the characters, AI, creatures, etc in as I go, filling RST's world in around her quests. Today I finished the first leg of RST's Main Quest and actually made my way to reclaimed Sancre Tor for the first time as part of the running quest.

This screen shows Blade Captain Steffan and I as we travel to Sancre Tor. As the teaser storylines in the RST thread reveal, the initiation to the main quest is a simple escort mission. Captain Steffan asks you to follow along as second blade when he escorts a group of holy brother to the compound at Sancre Tor. It seems bandits and would be thieves have taken to watching the roads, interested in the Blades caravans that have been hauling goods to the growing castle fortress. This is not as easy as it might first appear. One of the things I wanted to capture in RST is immersion. I love to play this game like I am living it. For me, that means not always being in control. On this mission, you can't fast travel away, as that would leave Steffan alone to defend the four brothers. You can't order Steffan to stop or follow, he is leading the march. The player must follow and guard. The player can also scout ahead, but be certain the road behind the party is clear or they may come to harm after you leave them.

I've made this trip with Steffan and the monks a few times today and every time, there were moments where the scenery just captured me and I forgot for an instant that it was just a game. You can't rush through, you have to live the moment and take in your surroundings. You must be mindful of where the brothers are and what dangers might spring out. If you fail, you have to begin again, because in allowing one of the brothers to die, the Blades will lose confidence in you and the quest cannot proceed, It is very challenging, but elegant and I think you are all in for a wonderful treat as this expansion begins.

This is sadly the only bit of the quest I can openly reveal in such details, since this part of the story has been public for over a year. Even now though, I think there will still be surprises for you on the road to Sancre Tor.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing; Captain Steffan gave me quite the run for my money the last 2 days. Just getting him to lead the trek from Cloud Ruler to Sancre Tor has been one headache after another. He is now the star of a comedic "In Dev" video that will be available on the RST home site after release. In the end, my old standby "less is more" proved to be the key once again and I straightened him out. He now leads steadily and is quite an asset to have when the going gets tough. Radiant AI is always fun for a few laughs and the occasional headache! :lol:

That's it for this entry, but I will post again soon when I've made more progress. Finally I feel things moving forward with vigor! It's going to be worth it all in the end. Keep checking in here for the latest news and information. I will continue to post current project images on the Projects page here, though not in the gallery. All new photos are being uploaded at RST's future home.

Cheers, and Happy Modding,


27.May.2009: Summer on the Horizon!

Posted by DarkRider on May 27, 2009 at 10:27 AM Comments comments (0)

Hail and Fair Greetings Blades Fans!

Thought I would take a few minutes to update my log here since my last entry is a bit outdated. :D

Arthmoor finished his BETA testing in record time I'd say. The reuinion with the RST core was a bit strange for me. It was a bit like coming home after you've been on vacation with a house sitter watching your house. You wander through room to room wondering what they did and what they touched. Even though you trust this person and asked them to stay in your house...it still feels like an invasion! LOL

Arthmoor's invasion was a welcome one, he tweaked some things that needed fine tuning and he managed to ferret out all of the things I made notes to fix, but forgot to come back to. The mod is a perfect canvas for implementing phase 02.

Phase 02 has caught me a bit offguard. I was feeling a bit, scattered, like I didn't know where to start. So I was dropping NPCs in and framing quests, and adding creatures all at the same time and feeling very chaotic. Not really my style and I was worried that such a frenzy will leave me open for more mistakes.

So, I sent a PM to me questbuilding mentor, Lingwei, who taught me everything I know about questbuilding. He loaned me some sound advice, in short, start from the beginning and go from there so the natural progression of the story can keep things moving on track. So, I'm going to refocus my efforts here. Today I will be adding the non-quest NPCs who mostly use generic AI packs. It might take a couple days. Once non quest NPCs are added, I'll finish adding creatures. Then I will return to my quest building, starting from the beginning and I will add quest NPCs as I go. This is a solid plan and one that I think will lead to a speedy release.

The voice work for RST has begun in earnest. I posted an open casting call to any interested parties in the community. Some are downloading the script for curiousity sake, but I hope to aquire some new talent from it. There are a few core folks cast already, but a few more would be nice to round out the cast and lighten the load a bit for those who are already cast in several parts. :ohmy:

I am concerned about how quickly time is moving, I'm hoping still for a summer release, but June is nearly here already. It's amazing how quickly time flies when you don't want it to! Though I work hours on end in the CS, at times it feels like I'm running in place for some reason. Perhaps with my new plan of attack I can start making more sure progress.

I will post a new log entry again soon, until then, happy modding!



17.May.2009: The Mighty Pen!

Posted by DarkRider on May 17, 2009 at 2:23 PM Comments comments (0)

Hail and Fair Greetings Blades Fans!

Arthmoor has nearly finished his phase 01 testing, much to my relief he's had only good things to say and reports no major issues. There is a bit of a color issue with the Gothcorga cave textures changing under torchlight, but JDFan is working to correct this.

Phase 02 is going very quickly, WhoGuru and I have now completed about 80% of the main dialogue writing. There will undoubtedly be some dialogue added on the fly in the quest input stage, but we are attempting to write out as much as possible before that part of the work begins, Right now, the dialogue is divided into chapters based on quest. When I begin inputting quests, WhoGuru will be dividing the lines into character scripts for the various character roles.

Each performer for RST will be asked to complete at least 2 scripts, one character script and one generic dialogue script. This is because the Sancre Tor Blades and the people added by RST will not use any stock vanilla dialogue. They have several new rumors and bits of idle dialogue to bring some fresh sounds to Cyrodiil!!!

Getting all of the dialogue voiced will be a challenge, I will be relying heavily upon the brilliant voice actors in this community to see it through. While not every part has hundreds of lines, there are many parts with a few lines and all will need to be voice acted. I have established a forum here on the Dimension again. Those of you who have been around may recall that the Dimension once had a forum before TESA. This forum however, is for the RST Voice Actors only. It's a place where the VAs for RST can hone the craft out of the eye of the public. I don't want any surprises being spoiled!

I've added some new images to the gallery and if you haven't seen the teaser video yet be sure to stop by the videos section for a Dimension Exclusive! The next long video is in the works and you should see that released on YouTube in the next couple weeks here.

I think within a few weeks here we could see a BETA Release for phase 02! Keep your fingers crossed that all continues to go smoothly!!



11.May.09: Children in a Childless World

Posted by DarkRider on May 11, 2009 at 6:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Hail Blades Fans,

A recent topic on the BGS forums discussing children in mods has prompted me to address my stance on this issue as it relates to RST. While Reclaiming Sancre Tor does not add children to every town, it does add a few children to the new locations it offers. Whenever handling the issue of child portrayals in video games that allow violence against them, people tend to get a bit defensive. So before I explain how RST deals with children in a violent environment, let me make one thing clear first.

I personally do not condone violence, abuse, nor neglect of children real/or imaginary in any way.

I am also not opening up a debate here, each of you is free to feel however you wish about this subject; there was a decision to be made on the issue and I made it. My only aim in sharing is to explain "how" RST handles this issue and to give folks an informed platform before they should download and try it out.

Now, to start with, the children in RST are aged at about 12-13+ they are not extremely young children. I didn't want to attempt having toddlers or very young children running about when there are players with itchy weapons and a desire to find out if they "can kill one...". Such little defenseless ones you will not find. What you will find are young adolescents.

For testing purposes, I created a young NPC called Billy:

Now if you look closely at the image here you will notice Billy does not have the usual Oblivion "Essential" icon when targeted. That's because Billy and the other children of RST are not essential. They can be harmed, and yes, even killed.

I hear a lynch mob forming...before any of you check out, let me explain. The children in RST are not essential because essential children break immersion, which is something I've struggled to enhance in every aspect of RST. However, that's not to say that harming/killing children in RST will be easy or in any way enjoyable.

In RST the children are watched over and protected by the Nine Divines. If you strike, shoot, or otherwise attack a child, a warning will appear.

"The Gods Protect Children and See That the Wicked are Punished." What does that mean? As Billy scampers off to safety, you'll discover what that means.

Instantly, a Legion Officer appears on the scene, he's a might confused by his own sudden appearance but he can peg a child abuser pretty quickly. The fine for harming a child in RST is substantial, at least 1 million gold pieces. This price is set by the Gods which is why it's so extreme; they want to make sure that people who harm children get their just desserts and can't just barter their way out of punishment. You will have to serve your time, which of course equals reductions in your stats.

Now, I know what you're thinking, there are ways around this...I've thought of that too. If a cheater uses the console command "kill" to kill a child, the child has a contingency clause in their scripting that resurrects them. You cheat, I cheat.

Ranged assaults will still summon the Legion Officer to bust you, so don't think that will save you and give you some stealthy child whacking pleasure either.

Also, you would be advised to remember that jail-able infractions will weigh on your position in the Blades Faction as well.

So, in the short, yes the children of RST can be harmed, but doing so will prove to be neither fun, nor anything anyone will want to persist in doing. I would not recommend it, the gods will see you no matter where you are, and whisk the Legionnaire in to save the child instantly.



27.April.09: Phase 01 Completed!

Posted by DarkRider on April 28, 2009 at 1:57 PM Comments comments (1)

Hail and fair Greetings Blades Fans!

After more than a year of toiling in the CS, RST has finally reached a major milestone in her development, the end of phase 01!!!

This phase consisted of 4 new worldspaces, 105 interior cells, 79 NPCs, 10 unique ingredient plants, 14 unique creatures, 15 unique weapons, 40 unique books, 6 full sets of unique armor, 4 unique shields, and more! Just a fantastic collection of things to give players a full gaming experience!

What remains for phase 02 is to create the remaining NPCs, implement quests and record dialogue, then it will be ready for its second round of BETA testing. Some may think I'm being overly cautious with so much testing, but I really want to make sure that I've done my job well and that when she releases, it's not into a fanfare of bug reports.

It's very promising to see the community's excitement bolster just knowing that RST is being tested. It confirms what I have long suspected, that there are fans of RST, they're just quietly and impatiently waiting for her arrival. There have been times throughout this year that I wasn't sure anyone was still with me, but all I had to do was ask and there would be some loyal fan who would reply and say "I'm still here, I'm still watching". That, I think is the essence of the Blades. Despite the current events of the Empire, they are still there and still watching.

I will post again when I've made some more progress, without pictures to offer, I'll be sure to post regular updates to the progress bars!



03.April.2009: Nearing BETA 01

Posted by DarkRider on April 3, 2009 at 1:44 PM Comments comments (0)

Hail and Fair Greetings Blades Fans!

Time for a brief update! Things have been moving right along for RST of late. Aside from the small hiccup while I moved to a new house, the end of Phase 01 is in sight. I'm looking forward to sending the cleaned .esp off to testing. Arthmoor is joining the project as Revision Specialist. He will be going through the entire build clening up loose seams, floating objects, and pathgrids. His keen eye will be an asset to RST having a flawless release. While he is going over things I will be delving into finishing Phase 02. All of the quests are planned out, and a good portion of dialogue is written. I'm hoping this phase goes much faster!

Latest Screenshot!

"The Crossing" This screen was shot by WhoGuru in Tuatha Danan

We're at the 95% completion mark for Phase 01. I have finished up the Mysterious cabin, along with all of it's unique goodies, and I am currently working on a sewer based mini dungeon that is part of RST's Main Quest. I'll finish that within the next hour or so and will be moving on to tie up loose ends elsewhere. My apprentice turned dungeon master, WhoGuru, has completed the dungeon for Tuatha Danan and added some finishing touches to the exterior island. This is going to be a favorite locale for screenshot hounds! In game players will want to make the most of their time there, once you have left Tuatha Danan there is no returning!

If all goes well, I hope to update again in about a week or so to announce the end of Phase 01. Keep your eyes on this one, Blades Fans, it won't be much longer now!

Happy Modding!