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Morrowind was massive decline and should be considered as such

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.
 

Tihskael

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I didn't bother going through the thread and I will say I am fond of all the three latest Elder Scrolls titles. The thing that I still like about Morrowind is that it pretty much forces you to get a sense of the world, otherwise you will be lost and it won't be an enjoyable experience at all. Those wikipedia entries, journals, books, factions add so much life to the world and coming across different sceneries, cultures, architecture across different parts of the map is refreshing. Oblivion's world is certainly blander but it was still fun to roam around through its dense forests in a medieval European setting. It also features some of the best quests that Bethesda ever implemented in any of their games- TES and Fallout and it tops it all up with a very good DLC. Skyrim's world certainly has more intrigue than Oblivion and it is a pretty good hiking sim. Its easy to lose hours in the beautiful open world with Jeremy Soule probably at his best. The gameplay loop is simple yet addictive (same as Fallout 4) which somehow even industry veterans fail to get right (Outer Worlds). And if you want to scratch off that "hardcore RPG" itch, you can always try Enderal.
 

Falksi

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I didn't bother going through the thread and I will say I am fond of all the three latest Elder Scrolls titles. The thing that I still like about Morrowind is that it pretty much forces you to get a sense of the world, otherwise you will be lost and it won't be an enjoyable experience at all. Those wikipedia entries, journals, books, factions add so much life to the world and coming across different sceneries, cultures, architecture across different parts of the map is refreshing. Oblivion's world is certainly blander but it was still fun to roam around through its dense forests in a medieval European setting. It also features some of the best quests that Bethesda ever implemented in any of their games- TES and Fallout and it tops it all up with a very good DLC. Skyrim's world certainly has more intrigue than Oblivion and it is a pretty good hiking sim. Its easy to lose hours in the beautiful open world with Jeremy Soule probably at his best. The gameplay loop is simple yet addictive (same as Fallout 4) which somehow even industry veterans fail to get right (Outer Worlds). And if you want to scratch off that "hardcore RPG" itch, you can always try Enderal.

You clearly mean well, but are also still clearly learning.

What the Outer Worlds is to you is what Fallout 4 and Skyrim are to Morrowind and Daggerfall vets.
 

JarlFrank

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Outer Worlds is what happens when an aged Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky have become convinced that the better-selling AAA games they've seen outsell their own masterpieces over the years are genuinely better games, and on top of that they get saddled with a talentless team of modern Californians who don't understand anything about game design, but that's the best nu-Obsidian can provide them with because all the talented people already left the company.
 

luj1

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Outer Worlds is what happens when an aged Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky have become convinced that the better-selling AAA games they've seen outsell their own masterpieces over the years are genuinely better games, and on top of that they get saddled with a talentless team of modern Californians who don't understand anything about game design, but that's the best nu-Obsidian can provide them with because all the talented people already left the company.

Post modern Californians, not modern, but I get what you are saying.

Back in 2019 I gave my own analysis before a lot was known about the project:
Their goal from day one was targeting both casual and hardcore RPG gamers with their "dream project". In other words, it was doomed before it started.

I remember a couple of years ago when Tim Cain spoke at that conference and was playing both sides of the table like a weasel. Assuring hardcore gamers that it will be an old school RPG in its core, while promising casuals it will be easy to get into. Obviously, they wanted a massive, consolidated target audience for their retirement project. Casual *and* hardcore gamers, PC *and* console, mainstream success *and* cult success.

Of course, that is a mathematical impossibility. Moving out of the niche hurts RPGs, because you're dropping passion for populism and it compromises everything.
 

Tihskael

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Hear it from the man himself

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:kingcomrade:
 
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Codex Year of the Donut

luj1

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Skyrim and FO4 are the lifelong culmination of algorithm-centric game design (wet dream of Todd Howard)

Read the Morrowind development history, guy hated everything that was original and hand crafted

Is this true, though? Todd has stated that he wanted to move away from the procedural world design of Le Fay and towards something more like Ultima. I'm very skeptical of Polygon's "Morrowind: an oral history" if that's what you're referring to. 12,000 words of Todd and MK blowing smoke up each other's arses and eight entire mentions of the guy who wrote more than half of the faction questlines in the game, six of them devoted to the day he got into an argument with Ken Rolston and quit the project.
 

Robotigan

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There is absolutely nothing worth a damn to find in Oblivion/Skyrim and a majority of games that came after Morrowind
There is absolutely nothing worth a damn to find in Codex and majority of contrarian RPG forums. All the agree, brofist, and incline reacts in the world can't change the fact that this is a dumb fucking take. Like a major reason Codex's influence is waning is because you guys just insist on staking yourselves out on the most extreme fringes of RPG opinions. You can't just say Oblivion/Skyrim are casualized experiences, that's not a shocking take anymore. You can't say they're forgettable or even bad games, please every Codexian knows that. No, now in order to fit in you must say that the games have no redeemable qualities whatsoever. I bet I come back in a couple years and you'll be all ranting about how Oblivion/Skyrim's traitorous deceit lost Germany WWI as you shovel game discs into ovens.
 

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