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Old 22-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
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Thumbs up The Elder Scrolls

I've just finished Morrowind. I started it ages ago (probably well over a year) but managed to keep the saved game. Not that I didn't like it enough, on the contrary I did like it. Now I'm planning to get Oblivion and play it. After playing Arena (not finished), Daggerfall and Morrowind, I love The Elder Scrolls series because of the free roaming, the skill-based system, and the universe/lore--which is incredibly rich for video games, in my opinion the best stuff after Tolkien, certainly superior to all D&D crapware combined.

If I had a complaint about Morrowind, it would be that villages, towns and cities are too small, up to the point that they aren't communities at all (and strangely lacking whole families, and there are no children!). I know this is an evolution from Arena and Daggerfall, where the world was huge but featureless. In Morrowind nothing is generated randomly, at the cost of having many less things, including these ridiculous cities that don't look like such at all. I'd have liked more features than in Daggerfall, but not like this. It just doesn't look like a world you can believe and feel immersed in.

Morrowind also resulted tremendously easy, easier than Daggerfall. With daedric equipment and after leveling up attributes and so, even Dagoth Ur is a piece of cake. I can kill a Dremora with two blows and it can't harm me. And I have almost 2 million gold, because I got tired of how ridiculously poor merchants are.

Arena was one of the most pioneering games of all time, a free-roaming first-person 3D RPG. Its downside within the TES saga is that the story's unimaginative and the universe was made up for a video game and contains no lore. But it has the best dungeons.

Daggerfall started to build the lore that turned the saga into something special, from Arena's mongrel world. Also the world was even more vast than in Arena but it started to have many features, although generic NPCs continued to have very poor conversation; but it was a step in the right direction. The dungeons in Daggerfall were based on a good idea in practice, but at least in the resolution the game has, the 3D maps are impossible to read. And whoever designed the dungeons forgot to make any architectural sense too.

As I already said I think Morrowind regrettably took a big step backwards in terms of imagining a world. I know there are lots of places to be and I haven't explored half of them, but I can't get past the fact that cities are made up of half two dozens households and villages of half a dozen (again no children).

Other than that it was so long since the first two installments were released, and Morrowind is the first TES game with better than 320x200 ugly-ass graphics, and graphics were so much better. But I can't really put my finger on any special upside Morrowind could have, compared to previous installments. It's quite long since I played Daggerfall, but I'm afraid I'll have to consider it the peak of the saga (so far, I haven't played Oblivion or Skyrim yet). However I do like Morrowind a lot on the whole as a game.

There's another thing, about quests. Randomly generated worlds (like in Arena and Daggerfall) have randomly generated quests, and just like NPC conversations these are taken from a small set, and very soon they end up being repetitive. But in Morrowind (actually in the main quests of Arena and Daggerfall too) all quests are pre-written. And the result is... at times even poorer. I appreciate that dungeon crawling and killing monsters and stealing expensive stuff is cliched, but in particular many of the Hortator quests were stupid. It was just traveling and having unremarkable conversations which didn't even deserve to be called formalities. (I should think it would be a little harder for a foreigner to be appointed Hortator of the Dunmer.)

So, any advice for someone who just finished Morrowind (I know, incredible) and plans to start Oblivion in the future? Or any comment on the rant above?
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