Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions


Lore Tool: A quick guide to doing your own research

Tags: #Guides  #Probably unnecessary  #Lore Tools 
  • Member
    November 10

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    I was always a bit uneasy at the idea of making this but I recently came to the realization (when forced to attend a first year class at college) that for a lot of people doing research might not be second nature. This little guide is a summary of how I usually look up things I want to know, be it for an article, a build or a story it all starts like this. It’s not the ultimate guide or the only way to go about things but it should get you started.

     

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    So let’s say you’re interested in finding something out about TES Lore (or really anything else, you’ll just need to look at different sources and websites), a good first step is to look up the Wikipedia or UESP pages concerning your topic of interest. Granted, this might not be necessary if you’re already well acquainted with the subject, but if it’s the first time you’re looking it up this can be a great resource.

    I personally like looking to the UESP for my own discovery and orientation as they have a habit of quoting the sources of what they claim which is always nice. You are free to look up stuff on the Wiki pages I simply prefer the UESP and as such that’s what this guide will focus on. The method can be easily applied to the wiki pages if you feel you need to.

    When you get to the UESP homepage you’ll find this on the sidebar; this is where we’ll be getting started: The UESP search bar.

    • Keep your search terms simple and broad; that’s the best way to operate the UESP in my opinion.

    • UESP has an advanced search mode but I’ve never found it to be extremely useful. It allows you to distinguish between multiple prefixes. If you are for example, not interested in ESO or specifically in Skyrim stuff.

    • Results will be labeled with a prefix related to either the games the article is about or the general lore stuff (marked with lore:). Usually, the lore pages are more complete but on occasion, it can be good to look at a specific game.

    The thing to keep in mind during this first step is that whenever you read anything on the UESP, you need to keep track of keywords and sources that might be related to your query. These keywords will be used in step two.

    I won’t try and tell you what words you should consider good keywords as I’m afraid that kind of stuff comes from experience.

     

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    Pardon the LOTR reference but this is the part where we go deeper. Now that you’ve gotten yourself a list of keywords related to your topic of interest it is time to visit the Imperial Library. In case you were unfamiliar with this website, it’s a site that collects and archives all the lore books in the game as well as the forum or Reddit chats with the developers and story writers of TES.

     

     

    Yet again you’ll find the search bar on the left as well as a list of some of the categories the sources you’ll find might be categorized in. This is more interesting for general research when you just want to read some lore.

    This is where the real work starts.

    Start by typing one of your keywords into the search bar and press enter. Depending on how specific your keyword was you’ll get either a huge collection of sources or a strangely small one.

    If you had a very small one you’re in luck as there’s a good chance the stuff you found is going to be useful.

    If you had a lot of results you will probably want to use the Advanced search mode to trim down the list a bit and make it more specific. Chances are you may run into this more often than you would like.

    The advanced search option will be available once you’ve started your initial search. It has a few different options so I’ll go through each one.

    The first three options are probably the most important;

    If you enter any combination of keywords in here it will start searching for every entry in their database that contains that combination of keywords. Don’t enter a phrase here as it will look for the keywords independently so a phrase won’t work.

    This is where you can enter phrases, again make sure not to include a combination of keywords unless you want to find entries where said keywords are in the same phrase. This is generally more useful if you want to find a specific quote or a short phrase that would otherwise serve as a keyword. So let’s say you’re interested in Namira’s Rot it’s best to put that in here because otherwise, you’ll get all the entries pertaining to Namira and/or Rot which would leave you with a lot of different options.

    If you have had a look at the results you were given and you think you need to restrict it further to get rid of sources you won’t need you can put keywords related to those sources in here which will eliminate them from the query.

    The two other options they let you play with allow you to use the keywords the site itself uses by selecting a category and/or tags. The last option will allow you to discriminate between the different kinds of sources you’ll be getting. Want to look specifically at lore books and don’t want to know about anything outside of the pure canon? Select book pages. Want something more “out there” go with forum topics or quotes for example. There’s a lot of possibilities.

    So now that you understand how the advanced search function works it is time to take out that list of keywords you made in step 1 and go down the list one by one. This is the last part, the longest part but generally speaking also the most interesting part as this is, for me at least, where a lot of ideas and theories may come up to be subsequently crashed and then rebuilt depending on what sources you may come across.

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    I am aware that to most of you guys this is ultimately unnecessary. But on the other hand, I couldn’t help but think that to some it could come in handy. Especially now that the Expeditions Committee is a thing, I felt it could be good to have a guide on some of the basics.

     

  • November 10

    Ooooooo, so much searching and nerdy things, me likey, me likey. 

     

  • November 10

    The Long-Chapper said:

    Ooooooo, so much searching and nerdy things, me likey, me likey. 

    Gah. You'll still use me for research and throw empty bottles at me because ESO fucks up your Lore... :D

     

  • November 10

    The Lorc of Flowers said:

    The Long-Chapper said:

    Ooooooo, so much searching and nerdy things, me likey, me likey. 

    Gah. You'll still use me for research and throw empty bottles at me because ESO fucks up your Lore... :D

     

    I no that bad. I do know the Imperial Library and you still come to me whenever you want a language. 

  • November 10

    The Long-Chapper said:

    The Lorc of Flowers said:

    The Long-Chapper said:

    Ooooooo, so much searching and nerdy things, me likey, me likey. 

    Gah. You'll still use me for research and throw empty bottles at me because ESO fucks up your Lore... :D

    I no that bad. I do know the Imperial Library and you still come to me whenever you want a language. 

    Just pulling yer leg. But my head still hurts from the last time I brought up Harmonious Masters :D

     

  • November 10

    This is a really useful post in conjuction with The Expeditions Comitee! Also believe it or not It 's been only a few months since I discovered the Imperial Librady site, kinda sad.. :P

  • Member
    November 10
    Glad someone decided to raise some awareness on UESP and TIL. Those sites are the best when it comes to lore research, or just plain general book reading. Though, UESP does need to update some of it's ESO articles now and then, like quests, bosses and what not.
  • Meh
    Member
    December 2

    This will be helpful to me, as now I am very interested in the Argonians and their lore, culture, and beliefs.