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Morrowind was massive decline and should be considered as such

MWaser

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Morrowind is a game for:
1. Fans of big mushrooms
2. Unreasonable powergamers/optimizers
3. Exploration/immersion combo autists

It offers a bit of something special from all these categories that hasn't really been matched throughout the years, but it's also easy to understand why it's not universally beloved because its actual mainstream appeal is virtually nothing. It's awkward to play, slow, requires a lot of wandering around, keeping track of things personally, and in many aspects like quests/dialogue it plays like nothing else.
 

EvilWolf

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Morrowind is a game for:
1. Fans of big mushrooms
2. Unreasonable powergamers/optimizers
3. Exploration/immersion combo autists

It offers a bit of something special from all these categories that hasn't really been matched throughout the years, but it's also easy to understand why it's not universally beloved because its actual mainstream appeal is virtually nothing. It's awkward to play, slow, requires a lot of wandering around, keeping track of things personally, and in many aspects like quests/dialogue it plays like nothing else.
I would argue all the elder scrolls games give you exploration/immersion, it just depends on what world you want to be immersed in. An alien environment with giant mushrooms and a seemingly unique culture with fleshed out political and religious aspects, a European fantasy setting with all its trappings, or a viking/norse mythos inspired fantasy setting. The only thing that really gives Morrowind a slight edge over the others in terms of exploration is the fact you can actually get lost in the world if you want to. Contrary to what some in this thread believe there is fun in getting lost and finding your way again, or finding something new and completely different.
 

Skinwalker

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Contrary to what some in this thread believe there is fun in getting lost and finding your way again, or finding something new and completely different.
As in, actually adventuring. Yes, actually adventuring is indeed very fun. Even when you're not actually getting lost, the very fact that you might, if you stray too far from the roads, completely changes your gameplay experience and the way you perceive your surroundings.

It is difficult to overstate just how damaging GPS and fast-travel are to exploration, adventuring, immersion, etc. It's like if AAAAAA gayme devs decided that doing combat "manually" is for autist nerds, and had an invulnerable NPC follow you everywhere and auto-attack all enemies until they died. And this became the industry standard, to the point where tons of brainlets online would fume at the idea of actually fighting the enemies yourself, and dying if you suck too much.

And no, you can't fix the problem with a mod that simply disables the GPS and fast-travel. The game is built around these features now, hiding them from the UI will not fix the issue. It's like Skyrim where a ton of quests are given without any directions whatsoever, because the player is expected to follow the GPS arrow.
 

MWaser

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Morrowind is a game for:
1. Fans of big mushrooms
2. Unreasonable powergamers/optimizers
3. Exploration/immersion combo autists

It offers a bit of something special from all these categories that hasn't really been matched throughout the years, but it's also easy to understand why it's not universally beloved because its actual mainstream appeal is virtually nothing. It's awkward to play, slow, requires a lot of wandering around, keeping track of things personally, and in many aspects like quests/dialogue it plays like nothing else.
I would argue all the elder scrolls games give you exploration/immersion, it just depends on what world you want to be immersed in. An alien environment with giant mushrooms and a seemingly unique culture with fleshed out political and religious aspects, a European fantasy setting with all its trappings, or a viking/norse mythos inspired fantasy setting. The only thing that really gives Morrowind a slight edge over the others in terms of exploration is the fact you can actually get lost in the world if you want to. Contrary to what some in this thread believe there is fun in getting lost and finding your way again, or finding something new and completely different.
I fundamentally disagree. There is absolutely nothing worth a damn to find in Oblivion/Skyrim and a majority of games that came after Morrowind (that I have played, at least). Morrowind is unique in having a lot of stupidly powerful magical artifacts just randomly thrown around in the world with next to no clue on their presence from any direction, and even general high-tier or end-game equipment can be found this way if you just stumble around the world (I once encountered a dwemer ruin with vampires that had a chest of end-game tier equipment early on without even expecting or remembering that dungeon existed, it was incredible how much it changed the pace of the run - it wasn't my first playthrough of the game either, nowhere close to it). Meanwhile in most other games the objects you find are usually not that satisfying or meaningful. Closest I can think to rewarding exploration would be all the various permanent stat boosts in Gothic 2 (since the equipment you can find randomly is nothing to write home about), but it doesn't quite have the impact as entering a random tomb and finding a unique artifact ring with special properties you won't find on anything else.

And the other TES games certainly won't deliver any of that since their content is virtually completely scaled (and usually dumbed down and unimpressive as well - just compare the quality of artifacts between Morrowind and Oblivion/Skyrim. There's no comparison, Morrowind's uniques are only matched in impressiveness with crazy unrandarts or randarts from some roguelikes or ARPGs).
 

Funposter

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I would argue all the elder scrolls games give you exploration/immersion, it just depends on what world you want to be immersed in. An alien environment with giant mushrooms and a seemingly unique culture with fleshed out political and religious aspects, a European fantasy setting with all its trappings, or a viking/norse mythos inspired fantasy setting. The only thing that really gives Morrowind a slight edge over the others in terms of exploration is the fact you can actually get lost in the world if you want to.
No, what gives Morrowind an edge is that the fantastical cultural, political and religious aspects are actually fleshed out in a way that makes the world feel believable. The "alien" aspect of the world is window-dressing, in the same way that Oblivion's "generic medieval fantasy" setting or Skyrim's "viking" setting are. The problem with Oblivion is that once you scratch beneath the surface, there's nothing to be explored or gained, since the developers removed all of the pre-established cultural, religious and political conflict from the setting. Not just in dialogue, either, but aesthetically and in terms of design. Colovians from Chorrol should not behave and dress the same way as Nibanese from Cheydinhal, but they do, because it's a game for simpletons. Skyrim is better in this regard, although the conflicts as they relate to gameplay boil down to a simple red vs. blue conflict.

Morrowind may have big mushrooms, but the "alien" aspect of the world is actually just taken from Dune which in turn is basically Lawrence of Arabia in space. It's about a western culture encroaching on and subjugating a race of eastern, mystical, sand people and the protagonist going native.
 

EvilWolf

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No, what gives Morrowind an edge is that the fantastical cultural, political and religious aspects are actually fleshed out in a way that makes the world feel believable. The "alien" aspect of the world is window-dressing, in the same way that Oblivion's "generic medieval fantasy" setting or Skyrim's "viking" setting are. The problem with Oblivion is that once you scratch beneath the surface, there's nothing to be explored or gained, since the developers removed all of the pre-established cultural, religious and political conflict from the setting. Not just in dialogue, either, but aesthetically and in terms of design. Colovians from Chorrol should not behave and dress the same way as Nibanese from Cheydinhal, but they do, because it's a game for simpletons. Skyrim is better in this regard, although the conflicts as they relate to gameplay boil down to a simple red vs. blue conflict.

Morrowind may have big mushrooms, but the "alien" aspect of the world is actually just taken from Dune which in turn is basically Lawrence of Arabia in space. It's about a western culture encroaching on and subjugating a race of eastern, mystical, sand people and the protagonist going native.
Granted it's been a few years since I played Oblivion, I'm doing a marathon and currently playing Morrowind, but I seem to recall that the cultural and political aspects were in fact there in Oblivion. Not to the extent of Morrowind of course, but there were quips and a few quests for the city leaders and oblivion gate quests that fleshed it out a bit more. The main story was enough of a religious spotlight considering most of the populace of Cyrodiil have the same religious beliefs. It was also concentrated on my in the Knights of the Nine DLC.
 

KateMicucci

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The problem with Oblivion is that once you scratch beneath the surface, there's nothing to be explored or gained, since the developers removed all of the pre-established cultural, religious and political conflict from the setting.
In the first ten minutes of the game the emperor is assassinated by a cult. The main plot of the game is finding the heir to the throne and defeating an evil god. It's not subtle but it's definitely there. Maybe there could have been some kind of squabbling over the throne or separatist stuff going on, but I'm kinda glad there wasn't. The lack of that stuff shows that Cyrodil was extremely stable, Uriel was popular and effective, and the interregnum government wasn't corrupt. And that's a rare thing, when it seems like every RPG is now pure concentrated cynicism.

But you're right that Colovians don't even wear Colovian fur hats. The multicultiness of the Cyrodilians was one of my biggest gripes. Bethesda did a great job of giving each city its own unique architectural style but, they stopped short on everything else.
 

Funposter

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The lack of that stuff shows that Cyrodil was extremely stable, Uriel was popular and effective, and the interregnum government wasn't corrupt

Which is a retcon.

"Uriel Septim is sick, and wizards say his heir, Geldall Septim, and the younger Septims, Enman and Ebel, are just doppelgangers placed in the household during Jagar Tharn's tenure as Imperial Battlemage. They say the Guard charged a mob demanding destruction of the false heirs... lots of folks were killed."
"Uriel Septim was never a strong Emperor. And now he's finally dying of age and illness. A coward's death. They say Ocato makes the real decisions. They say Uriel's heirs are really Daedra or shapeshifters planted by Jagar Tharn. They say the Emperor might pull back the Legions to try and protect himself. Some of the generals in the Legions have one eye on Uriel Septim and one eye on the throne."

Maybe some of this should have been explored in the main quest about a Daedric invasion of Tamriel.
 

KateMicucci

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Uriel's heirs were murdered at the same time he was. Ocato being the power behind the throne explains the lack of political instability when Uriel dies.
 
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The lack of that stuff shows that Cyrodil was extremely stable, Uriel was popular and effective, and the interregnum government wasn't corrupt

Which is a retcon.

"Uriel Septim is sick, and wizards say his heir, Geldall Septim, and the younger Septims, Enman and Ebel, are just doppelgangers placed in the household during Jagar Tharn's tenure as Imperial Battlemage. They say the Guard charged a mob demanding destruction of the false heirs... lots of folks were killed."
"Uriel Septim was never a strong Emperor. And now he's finally dying of age and illness. A coward's death. They say Ocato makes the real decisions. They say Uriel's heirs are really Daedra or shapeshifters planted by Jagar Tharn. They say the Emperor might pull back the Legions to try and protect himself. Some of the generals in the Legions have one eye on Uriel Septim and one eye on the throne."

Maybe some of this should have been explored in the main quest about a Daedric invasion of Tamriel.

Far better setting for a story than the good king died, search for his bastard.

However, the Oblivion premise could have worked if we had a prior connection to the ruler, like having him be a major character in previous installments. Or at the very least do the work in first hours of the game and have the player form some relationship with the ruler.
 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succession_to_the_British_throne#Current_line_of_succession

There are more than 60 people recognized in the line of succession to the British throne. How is the Septim empire completely fucked and without an heir just because Uriel + his sons died?

Depends on how inheriting power works in the empire. Only direct sons of the previous ruler may be legitimate contenders for the throne. Still better than Roman emperors which didn't have official succession rulers and for some time next ruler was adopted be the current before everything devolved into violence.
 

KateMicucci

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succession_to_the_British_throne#Current_line_of_succession

There are more than 60 people recognized in the line of succession to the British throne. How is the Septim empire completely fucked and without an heir just because Uriel + his sons died?
The Septim line was apparently thin enough that Uriel VII's grandmother great aunt was regent. Uriel VII was his father's only son. Septim cousins were removed from the line of succession because they were dunmer bastards.

https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Septim_Dynasty
 
Last edited:

perfectslumbers

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him be a major character in previous installments
He's the catalyst for the events of every game before Oblivion. In Arena you save him from a plane of oblivion after Jagar Tharn trapped him there. In Daggerfall you're a close friend of his who he sends on a top secret mission. And in Morrowind he sees potential for you to be the Nerevarine and ships you off to Vvardenfell.
 
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him be a major character in previous installments
He's the catalyst for the events of every game before Oblivion. In Arena you save him from a plane of oblivion after Jagar Tharn trapped him there. In Daggerfall you're a close friend of his who he sends on a top secret mission. And in Morrowind he sees potential for you to be the Nerevarine and ships you off to Vvardenfell.

But in Morrowind and Daggerfall he is not a character that actively participates in the story, but a background catalysis. However, I didn't know about Arena, haven't played it. But, saying that Oblivion story is better if you played Arena seems forced.
 

Zed Duke of Banville

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The player should have forged an attachment to Emperor Uriel VII from his unforgettable monologue in the opening cutscene of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall.



"Excuse the gloom..."
 

Skinwalker

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Morrowind featured an unusual culture with a complex, elaborate history, a multi-faceted present sociopolitical situation, and uncertain future with many potential ways it could go. Between empire-assimilated Hlaalu, nationalistic Redoran, isolationist Telvanni (living in giant mushrooms), tribal Ashlanders, the Dunmer Temple (I'm watching you, sssscum), the Imperial Cult, etc. etc. etc. it was a blast to explore and see how all these different things fit together. It had some generic factions (the three guilds they left over from Daggerfall should have been renamed and revamped), but most of the stuff was inspired and lovingly crafted. The setting is obviously mostly inspired by Roman Judea, but it had tons and tons of other influences as well. I haven't even mentioned the Dwemer, the Heart, and the Tribunal vs. Dagoth Ur vs. Nerevar controversy.

Oblibion was set in the most generic fantasy land, with the most generic factions ever, and a generic story - demons are invading, find secret heir to the throne to make demons stop invading. Except you don't even do anything interesting with the secret heir to the throne. The setting is obviously the equivalent of the Roman empire, but they didn't do anything interesting with it. Don't really care about the retcons per se, if they don't feel like doing tropical jungles, that's fine - but there is plenty of material from classical Italy and other antique civilizations they could have used.

They just didn't bother with any creativity or inspiration whatsoever, because Obliboi was the mark where RPGs became geared towards imbeciles.
 

Harthwain

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And no, you can't fix the problem with a mod that simply disables the GPS and fast-travel. The game is built around these features now, hiding them from the UI will not fix the issue. It's like Skyrim where a ton of quests are given without any directions whatsoever, because the player is expected to follow the GPS arrow.
Fast travel is bigger problem, because it makes you skip everything between you and your goal. I was playing Skyrim with and witout it (just riding on the horse) and the difference was huge - there were encounters and locations I wouldn't normally experience had I been using fast travel all the time. And this is why I think fast travel should work the way it did in Morrowind, because it encourages you to actually explore the world, rather than skip the exploration part. I mean, what's the point of having a seamless open world when all you do is use a built-in command "Go to location -> Location"?

I fundamentally disagree. There is absolutely nothing worth a damn to find in Oblivion/Skyrim and a majority of games that came after Morrowind (that I have played, at least).
One thing Skyrim did right was creating the illusion of the living world. Getting feedback from NPCs made them more believable and it reminded me of Gothic 1 a lot. This was a huge reason reason for me to stick with Skyrim for as long as I did.
 

Raskens

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The difference is that fast travel (to most location from the start) will always be optional, while quest markers in combination with a lack of journal will always be enforcive (at least in a big game world).
 

markec

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The difference is that fast travel (to most location from the start) will always be optional, while quest markers in combination with a lack of journal will always be enforcive (at least in a big game world).

Problem is when developers start designing world and quests with fast travel in mind.

There is really no need to hand design every area in the world and carefully place recognizable landmarks to provide direction when you can just fast travel anywhere.

There is no need for preparation for a long trip since you can just fast travel.

Why not just put bunch of quests that need you to backtrack from one to another part of the world when you can just fast travel.

One of joys of Morrowind was finding those shortcuts and best paths to your destination. The world felt like a puzzle to solve and there was a sense of accomplishment when you solved that puzzle.
 

Tihskael

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Fast travel is a bigger problem, because it makes you skip everything between you and your goal.
This is probably one of the better design choices in Red Dead Redemption 2: you can fast travel to designated points whenever you want, but a lot of areas aren't covered meaning you'll still ride around a lot. There are a large number of places and random encounters I would have probably missed out entirely.

Dragon's Dogma also has very limited time travel, though the map is nowhere near as massive, but here too it helps make the world a lot more meaningful. In fact you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not doing an early game expedition in some faraway corner of the world. At some point you'll be a long way away from any friendly place and your only option will be to painfully slog back to civilization while waging attrition battles on the way.

In my case with all my healing items gone I eventually found a friendly NPC campfire in the middle of the night, and after resting I woke up on a beautiful sunny day near a lake I hadn't even noticed. Even jaded as I am I greatly enjoyed the accidental cinematography.

I had many of such moments in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as well, especially since campfires might welcome you with bullets instead.

Fast travel nullifies that sense of adventure. I can't think of a downside to a node-centric system, unless the game constantly asks you to juggle locations.
Don't Oblivion and Skyrim handle fast travel like RDR2 or am I missing something here? You cannot fast travel to a place you've never been to before OR you can hire a carriage(Skyrim). The only difference I can think of is the fancy cinematic instead of a loading screen.
 

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