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Old 22-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
Japo
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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.)
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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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Old 22-05-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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Overall I think you did an amazing job with summing up the series of games that you play. Unlike most other game series retrospectives (or whatever you want to call it), you don't start talking to us about the history of Bethesda or how the series was influenced by post-atmospheric technical blackened death/thrash (not really but I'm just saying).

I observed that a bunch of the problems that you had in Morrowind were fixed in Skyrim. I personally felt that each of the cities (NOT the towns) in the game were actually very unique, each having a bunch of people that you can get to know about. To me they felt very realistic. Also the combat in Skyrim, if not played on the harder difficulties, can get a bit boring and easy. So, if you play does games I highly recommend playing on MASTERFUL.

My main problem with the first two Elder Scrolls games is that they didn't feel real. I never really felt emotionally connected to any characters or NPCs. Whereas if I kill an innocent person in Skyrim, I feel a bit guilty.

P.S. Did you finish Morrowind because of my review or is it just a coincidence that you wanted to play it?
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Old 22-05-2012, 10:14 PM   #3
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It's odd, but for me it's the removal of the randomness and generated places that makes morrowind my favourite in the series, as opposed to Daggerfall. Also, lots of people complain the game is ugly as hell, but in terms of visuals I still prefer it over Oblivion, it's very atmospheric and detailed. Skyrim, on the other hand, looks amazing.

I believe it's the atmosphere and the effort put in things to do, from collecting herbs in the countryside, to raising a weird tree-like tower fortress in the middle of nowhere, that makes this game for me. The combat system and overall mechanics are, like the other TES games, the weakness. I don't know, I wouldn't compare it to the D&D games, the focus seems rather different for me.
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Old 22-05-2012, 11:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MyVitalRemains View Post
P.S. Did you finish Morrowind because of my review or is it just a coincidence that you wanted to play it?
I'm on vacation this week and I felt like playing, I couldn't tell if anything I read here influenced me or how much. I had the saved game lying around. The same happened with Daggerfall, I didn't finish them in one or two goes; I'm not a kid any longer. I might even consider giving Arena another try, I feel guilty about not finishing it, but it gets repetitive and I've never saved an old game and then re-taken it.

In Morrowind I left the difficulty at the default level, actually I didn't realize for a very long time that there was a slider in the options, I expect that when starting a new game.

On second thought the best part of Morrowind within the series for me is the story. Arena had none worth noting; Daggerfall was awesome starting to write the history about the Dwemer and Numidium; but there's nothing like the war of the Chimer and the Dwemer, Nerevar, the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur, as told in Morrowind.

I acknowledge the downsides of random generation, but I hate to realize that a game world doesn't make sense when you stop for a while and look at it, that it's just a board for you to do what you're supposed to do and nothing else. Here, size (of cities etc) matters. I know I should be used to reduced worlds, as all RPGs have them. But Arena and Daggerfall proposed something different.
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Old 23-05-2012, 12:47 AM   #5
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Interesting point, but would size be enough to make the cities feel more alive? I don't know, I felt I was in a living world in some Ultima games, specially VII ones, but it's not something I can say for many games. I guess NPCs behaviour and sense of progression in towns is more important.
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Old 23-05-2012, 06:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jonh_sabugs View Post
Interesting point, but would size be enough to make the cities feel more alive? I don't know, I felt I was in a living world in some Ultima games, specially VII ones, but it's not something I can say for many games. I guess NPCs behaviour and sense of progression in towns is more important.

I finished Daggerfall then Arena. For me Arena is better than Daggerfall.
I want to play all 5 games of TES.
Very soon i will start Morrowind.
I like TES.
But i have to upgrade my video card to play Skyrim.
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Old 23-05-2012, 08:09 AM   #7
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And I just sneak this in here for people with new rigs How it'll look and of course Where to get it.
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Old 23-05-2012, 01:26 PM   #8
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Hmmm....nice.

Is this video from real game Morrowind, Hunvagy?

Is the hero Dark Elf?

I am asking because plan to start soon the game.

The environment and sound are great.
But opponents are very weak - just 2 small mouses and 2 grasshoppers!
Are these 2-legs T.rex-like creatures friendly?

Pls excuse my naive comments.
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Old 23-05-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by yoga View Post
Hmmm....nice.

Is this video from real game Morrowind, Hunvagy?

Is the hero Dark Elf?

I am asking because plan to start soon the game.

The environment and sound are great.
But opponents are very weak - just 2 small mouses and 2 grasshoppers!
Are these 2-legs T.rex-like creatures friendly?

Pls excuse my naive comments.
Not my video, but yes, that is real footage from a modded Morrowind with the Morrowind Overhaul. And those things you murdered.. only the rat is the enemy. The little bugs are neutral. And the two legged creatures are not friendly if they are diseased Basically anything that attacks you is fair game.
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Old 23-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #10
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It does eat the immersion when there's only 5 people walking around the busy streets of Caldera. I recommend Morrowind Comes Alive, which makes the places look bit livelier.
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