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On the Codex, Fallout 3 is underrated and Skyrim is overrated

Lemming42

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You're about to be killed for saying that last part, but it's true, I've said it on here before. The only difference is that Morrowind's worldbuilding is leagues ahead of the rest, but in terms of actual gameplay, it's identical - walking around a huge world with fuck-all of interest in it, doing mundane quests, raiding copypaste dungeons over and over, and becoming unstoppable by level 5 (about an hour and a half into the game). I'm not really sure at this point why Morrowind is often held apart from the Oblivion/Fo3/Skyrim set of games when it's cast in the exact same mould and plays the exact same. At best, it's the FNV to Skyrim's Fo3.
 
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Not sure what the Codex Hivemend verdict on each of those two games is, but here is mine.

Even on its own merits, Fallout 3 outside of a few individual quests, is the definition of mediocricy all the way through. It eventually got "fixed" by New Vegas, by a different dev, including char creation, quest design and perks (+10 points on BIG GUNS, :mindblown:). Never finished 3 and never will.

Skyrim surprised me insofar as that -- back in 2011 -- it was fun enough that I played it all the way through. It also remains my last Bethesda game. This was in main parts due to the exploration as mechanically, it's even more shallow than Fallout 3 was. However, in hindsight, I was lucky. As this is a game that knows no boundaries, restrictions (or consequences, for that matter), to pretty much anything, I went into it creating my own.

So I restricted myself to ranged weapons and a sneaky type of character, and on higher difficulties, that on occasion actually proved fairly tactical, also thanks to the different arrow types and modifications. Like that one time when I increased a giant spider's vulnerability to fire , lured it into a nearby fire trap and wathced it burn. That was, like sweet. Subsequent attempts at both brute melee force and magic proved at tad less, er, "compelling" (ditched, never re-installed again).

Still that was 2011. In 2022/23 I would be less thrilled to buy into an AAA experience this heavily build around generic quest marking (and quest design) to boot. Not after a couple more recent games have shown that you don't need to go down that blatantly rail-roaded path to reach huge numbers far beyond the genre's core audiences just to break even. (Besides, there's enough alternatives outside the blockbuster space by now anyways, which in 2011 wasn't as much the case).

At least Bethesda seem to be still sticking to making actually games, as opposed to glorified cutscene simulators witcher sensing themselves.
 
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EtcEtcEtc

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You're about to be killed for saying that last part, but it's true, I've said it on here before. The only difference is that Morrowind's worldbuilding is leagues ahead of the rest, but in terms of actual gameplay, it's identical - walking around a huge world with fuck-all of interest in it, doing mundane quests, raiding copypaste dungeons over and over, and becoming unstoppable by level 5 (about an hour and a half into the game). I'm not really sure at this point why Morrowind is often held apart from the Oblivion/Fo3/Skyrim set of games when it's cast in the exact same mould and plays the exact same. At best, it's the FNV to Skyrim's Fo3.
The worldbuilding is better for sure. But the actual writing isn't leagues ahead - the quest design isn't - exploration isn't, dungeon design isn't.

And don't get me wrong, I like Morrowind just like I like Oblivion - Skyrim, Fallout 3 - Fallout 4 etc. They aren't amazing, but they're comfort food games. But the Codex has Morrowind in the top ten of all time games - when it's basically the same experience you can get in Oblivion/Skyrim with a few mods. I played Morrowind last out of the trio of Oblivion, Skyrim, etc - and I came into it thinking it was going to be a radically different experience based on the breathless descriptions of it, and was shocked to find it was pretty much the same.
 

Ryzer

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Daily reminder OP that people here spend hundred of hours on Bethesda games and come back playing them regularly. Yet they love to trash them on the forums because it's a way to show how cool and edgy they are.
 

Harthwain

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Joined
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Messages
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But the Codex has Morrowind in the top ten of all time games - when it's basically the same experience you can get in Oblivion/Skyrim with a few mods.
Morrowind had a lot of character. Oblivion didn't. Another reason Oblivion is hated is because of many lies, broken promises and design decisions that ended up making it a worse game in practice, compared to Morrowind. Skyrim is better than Oblivion, but that's not exactly a mark of quality and outside of creating a decent illusion of the living world (and nordic-like atmosphere) it didn't really improve the formula compared to Oblivion.
 

thesheeep

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Codex 2012 Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Skyrim only exists because of Loverslab.
As do many Codexers!

As for the games, Skyrim can be brought up to a fun game for 1 or 2 playthroughs, especially with Requiem.
Fallout 3 cannot be salvaged. Put it into an engine with better FPS gameplay, and you'll still have the shit story and world.
There are no mods making F3 fun to play through...
 

Sigourn

uooh afficionado
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Also mandatory mention of the Tenpenny Tower quest - it's not well-written, but it has the balls to subvert the player's intentions, which I don't think any other quest in any Fallout game does.

Killian vs Gizmo in Fallout is like that. Helping Gizmo is actually the best choice for Junktown. The thing with the Tenpenny quest is that there's no reason for helping Roy. The man even threatens unleashing feral ghouls on the Tenpenny residents, and the player is expected to think making amends between both sides is a good idea? No shit the ghoul ended up killing all Tenpenny residents afterwards.

Around ghouls, don't be a fool.
 

Lemming42

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But the Codex has Morrowind in the top ten of all time games - when it's basically the same experience you can get in Oblivion/Skyrim with a few mods.
Morrowind had a lot of character. Oblivion didn't. Another reason Oblivion is hated is because of many lies, broken promises and design decisions that ended up making it a worse game in practice, compared to Morrowind. Skyrim is better than Oblivion, but that's not exactly a mark of quality and outside of creating a decent illusion of the living world (and nordic-like atmosphere) it didn't really improve the formula compared to Oblivion.
Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim all have near-identical formulas, surely:
- Big open world full of dungeons
- The realisation that the dungeons are shit (Morrowind's are large and boring, Oblivion's are smaller and boring, Skyrim's are rollercoaster rides with skeletons popping out at you and traps everywhere)
- Towns and villages full of dull NPCs (identical wikipedia entry NPCs in Morrowind's case) with shops there's never a reason to visit
- Awful quests (extremely dull fetch quests for Morrowind and Skyrim, batshit high-concept quests that always fail to work properly in Oblivion)
- Poor combat (Morrowind's is awful and you cannot lose after around level 5, Oblivion's is just abysmal, Skyrim's is serviceable but unsatisfyingly shallow)
- A main quest that's best ignored and is consistently the most boring part of the game

I'm saying this as someone who likes all of them to a greater or lesser degree. I feel like these games are always about unfulfilled promises to some extent - all of them indicate at a vast world full of possibilities that never actually materialises, then the illusion shatters a few hours in.
 

Lemming42

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Also mandatory mention of the Tenpenny Tower quest - it's not well-written, but it has the balls to subvert the player's intentions, which I don't think any other quest in any Fallout game does.

Killian vs Gizmo in Fallout is like that. Helping Gizmo is actually the best choice for Junktown. The thing with the Tenpenny quest is that there's no reason for helping Roy. The man even threatens unleashing feral ghouls on the Tenpenny residents, and the player is expected to think making amends between both sides is a good idea? No shit the ghoul ended up killing all Tenpenny residents afterwards.

Around ghouls, don't be a fool.
True, but they pussied out of the Gizmo v Killian thing, right? They changed it before release so that Killian's ending slide is nice and upbeat, presumably because they thought players would be pissed at having their will subverted in that way.

I suppose with the Tenpenny quest, the idea is that the player is primed to already hate Tenpenny Tower because it's such a bizarre location filled with badly-written caricatures, and most players have likely already met the leader who's asked them to nuke a town for no reason. It sets itself up as a pretty standard Fallout quest with no ambiguity - "the elitist racist humans are keeping the poor put-upon ghouls out for no reason!" - so most players will just instinctively go with the ghouls expecting it to play out in the traditional "good karma" way.
 

EtcEtcEtc

Savant
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Messages
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But the Codex has Morrowind in the top ten of all time games - when it's basically the same experience you can get in Oblivion/Skyrim with a few mods.
Morrowind had a lot of character. Oblivion didn't. Another reason Oblivion is hated is because of many lies, broken promises and design decisions that ended up making it a worse game in practice, compared to Morrowind. Skyrim is better than Oblivion, but that's not exactly a mark of quality and outside of creating a decent illusion of the living world (and nordic-like atmosphere) it didn't really improve the formula compared to Oblivion.
Yeah but I don't see how 'a lot of character' is enough to distinguish top ten RPG of all time vs. total shit.

Also what you describe in regards to lies, broken promises, etc - is the same thing I'm talking about when it comes to Fallout 3. none of those lies or broken promises have a direct bearing on the actual game as it is - only the game as you wanted it to be or believed it should be. Y'all are pulling ancillary items in to your judgement rather then engaging with the game on it's merits.
 

Butter

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Morrowind doesn't deserve to be in the top ten, and I got bored on my most recent playthrough long before finishing it, but it's beyond retarded to pretend it's on the same level as Oblivion and Skyrim.

Morrowind has better combat than Oblivion and Skyrim due to the lack of health bloat. It has more fleshed out spellmaking (which Skyrim doesn't even have) and enchanting. It has more skills. It's missing about 99% of Oblivion's level scaling. It has a complex system of diegetic fast travel instead of braindead map-based fast travel. It has layered armour and clothing, in addition to vastly more armour slots. It has more joinable factions than Oblivion or Skyrim, including some that are mutually exclusive, and those factions have skill requirements to progress.

Do you even mechanics?
 

Harthwain

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Yeah but I don't see how 'a lot of character' is enough to distinguish top ten RPG of all time vs. total shit.
I tried to make a concise answer, but I will try to elaborate.

Morrowind tried to do cool stuff and even though it ended up being a very flawed game I greatly respect it for that. Despite that it still managed to be one of the greatest cRPG experiences at the time. It has a world that's truly unique. It has a free-form approach to leveling and magic. It has a big 3D world that felt seamless (even though it wasn't). You could say that Oblivion and Skyrim are cut out of the same cloth and you would be correct, but I'd argue they are more like subtractions rather than additions in comparison. In other words: they are decline. In this context Oblivion hurts even more, because I was expecting great things from it, only to get something that was a significantly lesser creation than Morrowind, in my opinion.

Also what you describe in regards to lies, broken promises, etc - is the same thing I'm talking about when it comes to Fallout 3.
I never touched Fallout 3, so I can't really talk about it.
 

Ryzer

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Messages
1,917
Morrowind doesn't deserve to be in the top ten, and I got bored on my most recent playthrough long before finishing it, but it's beyond retarded to pretend it's on the same level as Oblivion and Skyrim.

Morrowind has better combat than Oblivion and Skyrim due to the lack of health bloat. It has more fleshed out spellmaking (which Skyrim doesn't even have) and enchanting. It has more skills. It's missing about 99% of Oblivion's level scaling. It has a complex system of diegetic fast travel instead of braindead map-based fast travel. It has layered armour and clothing, in addition to vastly more armour slots. It has more joinable factions than Oblivion or Skyrim, including some that are mutually exclusive, and those factions have skill requirements to progress.
Quoting an honest review from the past on Morrowind:
- NO DIALOGUE (just browsable topic database),
- poor class/stat implementation, powergaming oriented, unbalanced, levelling way too fast and linear, skills horribly implemented (speechcraft? alchemy? hand2hand?...etc).
- enchanting (even for barbarians) that rendered mage skills useless,
- boring mini "dungeons",
- poor NPC/creature AI (NPCs getting stuck, spellcasting NPCs were as dangerous as a dead rat),
- no challenge in combat (creatures & other NPCs are whimps and you are the God). You are never "afraid for your life" (like in, say, Gothic).
- boring, lifeless static NPCs,
- all guilds and main plot linear as equator (Start->A->B->C->Ending),
- FedEx quests: go to X and bring me Y. Or go to X and kill Y. Yes, also no plot twists, etc.
- no real benefits being a guild member (or head),
- your actions didn't mean shit (world around you didn't react in any other whay than OMG "Disposition" change). Even if you killed their gods.
- dumb down of TES II: Daggerfall
- periodical crashes to desktop,
Can't remember more right now.

Comparing to other RPGs out there, it is a... rather poor RPG, in my opinion. Might be a good adventuring/exploration/sandbox game, but as a RPG, I sure didn't like it very much. Hate is a too strong word.
 

Lemming42

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Nov 4, 2012
Messages
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The Satellite Of Love
Morrowind doesn't deserve to be in the top ten, and I got bored on my most recent playthrough long before finishing it, but it's beyond retarded to pretend it's on the same level as Oblivion and Skyrim.

Morrowind has better combat than Oblivion and Skyrim due to the lack of health bloat. It has more fleshed out spellmaking (which Skyrim doesn't even have) and enchanting. It has more skills. It's missing about 99% of Oblivion's level scaling. It has a complex system of diegetic fast travel instead of braindead map-based fast travel. It has layered armour and clothing, in addition to vastly more armour slots. It has more joinable factions than Oblivion or Skyrim, including some that are mutually exclusive, and those factions have skill requirements to progress.

Do you even mechanics?
The armour slots and spellmaking are the big points here I agree with.

The lack of health bloat isn't helpful for Morrowind because the combat is rendered a joke so early in the game. The diagetic fast travel ultimately amounts to just being a pain in the ass as you walk to and fro between, like, Pelagiad and Seyda Neen numerous times - it's cool that it offers advantages for mages (or wealthy people who can buy potions/scrolls) with Mark/Recall and levitation and shit, but in practice it just slows down the game with filler by making the player walk across empty ground they've already cleared. It's not a direct comparison, obviously, but would Fallout be a better game if the player had to move between three empty desert screens to get from the entrance to Shady Sands over to Aradesh's compound, and had to do so about six times to complete all Shady Sands quests?

The joinable factions aren't a selling point when the actual experience of being in them is typically shit - similarly, Daggerfall has vastly more factions to join with individual temples and each region having its own knightly orders, but they just give the same five or so quests over and over. In Morrowind's case, joining a new faction is usually just an exercise in being sent on more really pointless and empty quests that the player is likely already comically over-levelled for.
 

EtcEtcEtc

Savant
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
223
Morrowind doesn't deserve to be in the top ten, and I got bored on my most recent playthrough long before finishing it, but it's beyond retarded to pretend it's on the same level as Oblivion and Skyrim.

Morrowind has better combat than Oblivion and Skyrim due to the lack of health bloat. It has more fleshed out spellmaking (which Skyrim doesn't even have) and enchanting. It has more skills. It's missing about 99% of Oblivion's level scaling. It has a complex system of diegetic fast travel instead of braindead map-based fast travel. It has layered armour and clothing, in addition to vastly more armour slots. It has more joinable factions than Oblivion or Skyrim, including some that are mutually exclusive, and those factions have skill requirements to progress.

Do you even mechanics?
Those are majority surface level fluff - and can be easily adjusted with Mods.

The main loop is exactly what Lemming42 described. And it's the same for all three. Morrowind is BETTER then Oblivion and Skyrim, but it's not like the difference between New Vegas and Fallout 3.
 

Butter

Arcane
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
5,476
Morrowind doesn't deserve to be in the top ten, and I got bored on my most recent playthrough long before finishing it, but it's beyond retarded to pretend it's on the same level as Oblivion and Skyrim.

Morrowind has better combat than Oblivion and Skyrim due to the lack of health bloat. It has more fleshed out spellmaking (which Skyrim doesn't even have) and enchanting. It has more skills. It's missing about 99% of Oblivion's level scaling. It has a complex system of diegetic fast travel instead of braindead map-based fast travel. It has layered armour and clothing, in addition to vastly more armour slots. It has more joinable factions than Oblivion or Skyrim, including some that are mutually exclusive, and those factions have skill requirements to progress.
Quoting an honest review from the past on Morrowind:
- NO DIALOGUE (just browsable topic database),
- poor class/stat implementation, powergaming oriented, unbalanced, levelling way too fast and linear, skills horribly implemented (speechcraft? alchemy? hand2hand?...etc).
- enchanting (even for barbarians) that rendered mage skills useless,
- boring mini "dungeons",
- poor NPC/creature AI (NPCs getting stuck, spellcasting NPCs were as dangerous as a dead rat),
- no challenge in combat (creatures & other NPCs are whimps and you are the God). You are never "afraid for your life" (like in, say, Gothic).
- boring, lifeless static NPCs,
- all guilds and main plot linear as equator (Start->A->B->C->Ending),
- FedEx quests: go to X and bring me Y. Or go to X and kill Y. Yes, also no plot twists, etc.
- no real benefits being a guild member (or head),
- your actions didn't mean shit (world around you didn't react in any other whay than OMG "Disposition" change). Even if you killed their gods.
- dumb down of TES II: Daggerfall
- periodical crashes to desktop,
Can't remember more right now.

Comparing to other RPGs out there, it is a... rather poor RPG, in my opinion. Might be a good adventuring/exploration/sandbox game, but as a RPG, I sure didn't like it very much. Hate is a too strong word.
Some of this is completely fair, some of this is objectively incorrect (linear quest lines for example). But that's why I said Morrowind doesn't deserve to be in the Codex top 10. It probably shouldn't even be in the top 30.
 

Glop_dweller

Cipher
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
977
THE WORST GAME EVER.
You are ignoring the (always present) context. FO3 is not the worst game ever made, but it is the only sequel to Fallout 2, and as such it stands as the worst one made. FO4 is not even a decent FO3 sequel... but it is not itself a sequel to Fallout 2.
 

Sigourn

uooh afficionado
Joined
Feb 6, 2016
Messages
5,359
Morrowind doesn't deserve to be in the top ten, and I got bored on my most recent playthrough long before finishing it, but it's beyond retarded to pretend it's on the same level as Oblivion and Skyrim.

Morrowind has better combat than Oblivion and Skyrim due to the lack of health bloat. It has more fleshed out spellmaking (which Skyrim doesn't even have) and enchanting. It has more skills. It's missing about 99% of Oblivion's level scaling. It has a complex system of diegetic fast travel instead of braindead map-based fast travel. It has layered armour and clothing, in addition to vastly more armour slots. It has more joinable factions than Oblivion or Skyrim, including some that are mutually exclusive, and those factions have skill requirements to progress.

Do you even mechanics?

Morrowind is quantity over quality. And this is a problem because whatever quality there is in the game is hardly "quality" to begin with.
  1. Combat amounts to watching your fatigue bar, and no inventory or consumption penalties means you can easily keep your fatigue full.
  2. Because the game is not challenging, you don't even need to use the spellmaking and enchanting systems to make competent spells and equipment to help you out. And if you do decide to use them, you find yourself with two mechanics that are completely broken and trivialize the entirety of an already easy game. Same with alchemy.
  3. Contrary to popular belief, Morrowind does have level scaling. Loot and encounters are often regulated by the player's level. Depending on your level, leveled lists will spawn worse or better stuff. Seyda Neen at level 1 is not the same as Seyda Neen at level 10, where it will be populated by Cliff Racers and Bull Netches.
  4. As Lemming42 said, the lack of map-based fast travel eventually turns the game into a chore, because there comes a point where you have already explored the areas and the diegetic fast travel does nothing but amount to filler. I thought Morrowind was meant to be a role-playing game, not a travel-simulator.
  5. There are many factions in Morrowind, but gameplay-wise they don't amount to much. Many quests are just plain awful or boring. They are really a product of the lore of the game vs a faction that has a reason to exist gameplay-wise (i.e. House Hlaalu+Thieves Guild could be a single faction since the quests they send you out on are similar, same with Redoran+Fighters Guild+Legion, Mages Guild+Telvanni, and Imperial Cult+Tribunal Temple).
I don't think Morrowind is a great game. It's just the least casual of the modern Bethesda RPGs, and it seems that's enough for some people to eat it up.

The only people I've seen consistently praise Morrowind are those who absolutely love the game's lore. Gameplay-wise it doesn't seem to be a loved game.
 

EtcEtcEtc

Savant
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
223
THE WORST GAME EVER.
You are ignoring the (always present) context. FO3 is not the worst game ever made, but it is the only sequel to Fallout 2, and as such it stands as the worst one made. FO4 is not even a decent FO3 sequel... but it is not itself a sequel to Fallout 2.
Well, for starters saying it's the ONLY sequel is incorrect - unless having a number besides the name means that much to you.

New Vegas is the sequel to Fallout 2. It's certainly more of a sequel then 3 was.

Further the context of a game being in the Fallout series shouldn't have any bearing on it's quality as a game - someone said earlier that if the game was called After the Bombs DC and was otherwise the same it'd be a 7/10 game. If it's a 7/10 game in that scenario it's a 7/10 game period. Fallout 3 has done nothing to delete the existence of Fallout or Fallout 2 - they still exist.

I could entertain an argument where someone says "Hey listen I don't like Fallout 3 because Bethesda made a worse game and kept someone ELSE from making an infinitely better game" but that was never the case - the previous rights owner was bumping out absolute shit before they went under, and no one else was buying Fallout before Bethesda did.
 
Unwanted
Joined
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Messages
50,711
Codex Year of the Donut
Morrowind doesn't deserve to be in the top ten, and I got bored on my most recent playthrough long before finishing it, but it's beyond retarded to pretend it's on the same level as Oblivion and Skyrim.

Morrowind has better combat than Oblivion and Skyrim due to the lack of health bloat. It has more fleshed out spellmaking (which Skyrim doesn't even have) and enchanting. It has more skills. It's missing about 99% of Oblivion's level scaling. It has a complex system of diegetic fast travel instead of braindead map-based fast travel. It has layered armour and clothing, in addition to vastly more armour slots. It has more joinable factions than Oblivion or Skyrim, including some that are mutually exclusive, and those factions have skill requirements to progress.
Quoting an honest review from the past on Morrowind:
- NO DIALOGUE (just browsable topic database),
- poor class/stat implementation, powergaming oriented, unbalanced, levelling way too fast and linear, skills horribly implemented (speechcraft? alchemy? hand2hand?...etc).
- enchanting (even for barbarians) that rendered mage skills useless,
- boring mini "dungeons",
- poor NPC/creature AI (NPCs getting stuck, spellcasting NPCs were as dangerous as a dead rat),
- no challenge in combat (creatures & other NPCs are whimps and you are the God). You are never "afraid for your life" (like in, say, Gothic).
- boring, lifeless static NPCs,
- all guilds and main plot linear as equator (Start->A->B->C->Ending),
- FedEx quests: go to X and bring me Y. Or go to X and kill Y. Yes, also no plot twists, etc.
- no real benefits being a guild member (or head),
- your actions didn't mean shit (world around you didn't react in any other whay than OMG "Disposition" change). Even if you killed their gods.
- dumb down of TES II: Daggerfall
- periodical crashes to desktop,
Can't remember more right now.

Comparing to other RPGs out there, it is a... rather poor RPG, in my opinion. Might be a good adventuring/exploration/sandbox game, but as a RPG, I sure didn't like it very much. Hate is a too strong word.
seeing it right next to gothic 2 is kinda funny
only thing morrowind does better than gothic 2 is the worldbuilding/lore/characters
both have terrible combat so that's a wash, every other aspect is easily in gothic 2's favor

The world feels completely static/lifeless, I can't stand it. Not just the fact that the characters don't... do anything... everything is just reactionless. The Tamriel Rebuilt mod is supposedly much better in this regard, but I haven't tried it yet.
 

Butter

Arcane
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
5,476
Morrowind doesn't deserve to be in the top ten, and I got bored on my most recent playthrough long before finishing it, but it's beyond retarded to pretend it's on the same level as Oblivion and Skyrim.

Morrowind has better combat than Oblivion and Skyrim due to the lack of health bloat. It has more fleshed out spellmaking (which Skyrim doesn't even have) and enchanting. It has more skills. It's missing about 99% of Oblivion's level scaling. It has a complex system of diegetic fast travel instead of braindead map-based fast travel. It has layered armour and clothing, in addition to vastly more armour slots. It has more joinable factions than Oblivion or Skyrim, including some that are mutually exclusive, and those factions have skill requirements to progress.

Do you even mechanics?

Morrowind is quantity over quality. And this is a problem because whatever quality there is in the game is hardly "quality" to begin with.
  1. Combat amounts to watching your fatigue bar, and no inventory or consumption penalties means you can easily keep your fatigue full.
  2. Because the game is not challenging, you don't even need to use the spellmaking and enchanting systems to make competent spells and equipment to help you out. And if you do decide to use them, you find yourself with two mechanics that are completely broken and trivialize the entirety of an already easy game. Same with alchemy.
  3. Contrary to popular belief, Morrowind does have level scaling. Loot and encounters are often regulated by the player's level. Depending on your level, leveled lists will spawn worse or better stuff. Seyda Neen at level 1 is not the same as Seyda Neen at level 10, where it will be populated by Cliff Racers and Bull Netches.
  4. As Lemming42 said, the lack of map-based fast travel eventually turns the game into a chore, because there comes a point where you have already explored the areas and the diegetic fast travel does nothing but amount to filler. I thought Morrowind was meant to be a role-playing game, not a travel-simulator.
  5. There are many factions in Morrowind, but gameplay-wise they don't amount to much. Many quests are just plain awful or boring. They are really a product of the lore of the game vs a faction that has a reason to exist gameplay-wise (i.e. House Hlaalu+Thieves Guild could be a single faction since the quests they send you out on are similar, same with Redoran+Fighters Guild+Legion, Mages Guild+Telvanni, and Imperial Cult+Tribunal Temple).
I don't think Morrowind is a great game. It's just the least casual of the modern Bethesda RPGs, and it seems that's enough for some people to eat it up.

The only people I've seen consistently praise Morrowind are those who absolutely love the game's lore. Gameplay-wise it doesn't seem to be a loved game.
I don't understand the point of this post. I didn't say Morrowind is great. In fact I explicitly stated the opposite. My point was that it's significantly better than Oblivion and Skyrim, and lumping them all together requires outright ignoring their mechanical differences.

1. Combat in Oblivion also amounts to watching your fatigue bar, but it also involves whacking enemies for 10 minutes because of the insane health bloat and power attacks that are completely worthless. Combat in Skyrim is even less involved than that; you don't even have to pay attention to fatigue. Morrowind's use of dice-rolling means it doesn't need health bloat, so as you level up fights get shorter instead of longer.
2. Oblivion and Skyrim weren't challenging either. Most RPGs aren't challenging. More systems to play with in an open world sandbox is incline, and I don't see how anyone could try to argue otherwise.
3. I never said Morrowind doesn't have level scaling. I'm well aware of the fact that monsters on the road scale to your level. But dungeon monsters, treasure chests, quest rewards, and enemy equipment don't scale. The reason people commonly assume Morrowind doesn't have scaling is because it's so minimal as to barely matter, and that's obviously superior to the garbage that came later.
4. You're just arguing for decline at this point. Learn to use the teleportation systems. Getting around in Morrowind is really fast once you understand how it works. Outside of visiting the ashlander tribes, nothing takes more than about a minute.
5. You're arguing for decline again. "Condense factions based on gameplay even though that makes no sense in the lore."
 

Robotigan

Learned
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Messages
235
Also, I find it funny that the same people who hate Oblivion/Fallout 3/Skyrim are the same people who champion Morrowind and act like there's this huge gap in quality between them. There isn't. Morrowind is just the other games without the quest compasses.
Oh, it's basically why I don't take most of the Bethesda critiques seriously. At least the "contrarians" who hate Morrowind are self-consistent. I can understand Morrowind's aesthetic resonates more with some people or that they prefer how a particular feature worked in Morrowind, but the people who claim to adore Morrowind and despise subsequent Bethesda games makes me think they haven't engaged deeply with any of these games. Bethesda's design ethos has remained remarkably consistent for a long time. In fact, it's a pretty old school approach that prioritizes the core systems and game functions over set-piece moments.
The problem is that both FO3 and Skyrim are sort of threshold games that are on the very edge of awful despite being made up of all the right ingredients to be great. Had Bethesda actually analyzed them honestly (a.k.a not based on some slapdash review of the first ten hours) they could have easily pulled back and made exceptional games using just what was in both games with relatively minimal effort. In fact with FO3 we got exactly that with New Vegas where a bunch of fairly minimalist edits to the core FO3 mechanics turned the game into a (arguable) masterpiece. And that was done in 18 months(more like 15 but whatever) on a minimal budget.
The comparison between FO3 and FNV is a good one to bring up because I think it most clearly shows the distinction in design direction between Bethesda and most RPG studios. New Vegas plays like a traditional campaign, i.e. it's structured like an interactive movie. The goal is to provide as many branching paths as possible so that the player feels as though they're a consequential participant in the narrative events instead of a passive observer; and then they want to play it again to explore "what if" scenarios. But central to this experience is an implicit agreement between the player and the DM that the player wants to be a part of this story. And the key difference with Bethesda is that as much as possible they try not to rely on this player/DM contract. They flirt with grand campaigns as a means of providing some direction for the player but truly their goal is to create a world so vast and interesting that the player just kind of inhabits it and "creates their own story" as Todd likes to say.

Everything in New Vegas feels connected and meaningful because it's all presumes that the player is engaged with the main plot. But it also means that if you disengage and try to live out your own livelihood as a bounty hunter on the Mojave, the world kind of evaporates. There's very little content to support that. Alternatively, FO3 has a great deal of stuff to do and explore for players who decide they aren't invested in whatever happened to their father and his project. But because of this, so much of the development effort was spent on disconnected places and events around the map and not so much on how the player chooses to deal with main story events. I'm in a distinct minority of Codexers who prefers the Bethesda way.
You could say that Oblivion and Skyrim are cut out of the same cloth and you would be correct, but I'd argue they are more like subtractions rather than additions in comparison. In other words: they are decline.
It's just really odd how many Codexers claim to despise these games for being shallow when their systems are still deeper than most old school RPGs even. If Deus Ex and System Shock 2 can be considered great RPGs, I really don't understand what's keeping Skyrim or even Fallout 4 out. It clearly has nothing to with the RPG-ness. I personally think it's because Codexers vibe more with the punk philosophizing of that era.
 

Harthwain

Magister
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
3,437
It's just really odd how many Codexers claim to despise these games for being shallow when their systems are still deeper than most old school RPGs even.
1) I am not "many Codexers" and Codex is no hive mind. You will find people having varying opinions here. Some people think fondly of Morrowind, other do not and each have their own reasons for doing so. For some people even the existence of the classic PnP-like system isn't going to be enough to consider something an RPG when it doesn't have a traditional combat layer, for example, because their idea of an RPG is that it has to have combat. Even if it's a shitty one. Is this odd? I don't think so. It just shows that some people have a different idea of what an RPG should consist of. For some it means being closer to its wargaming roots. Others will have no problem with an RPG that doesn't require of you to fight stuff as the fundamental aspect of gameplay.

2) I am not comparing Oblivion or Skyrim to "most old school RPGs". I am comparing them to Morrowind, which is literally part of the same series.

If Deus Ex and System Shock 2 can be considered great RPGs, I really don't understand what's keeping Skyrim or even Fallout 4 out.
And what's an RPG? What keeps Skyrim from being an RPG depends solely on what definition one has, which varies from person to person. Personally I do not deny that Skyrim is an RPG. What I am saying is that Skyrim is affected by the Decline™ and this was the case since Oblivion for me. Others are going to say that the Decline™ started with Morrowind, after Daggerfall.
 
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Sigourn

uooh afficionado
Joined
Feb 6, 2016
Messages
5,359
I don't understand the point of this post. I didn't say Morrowind is great. In fact I explicitly stated the opposite. My point was that it's significantly better than Oblivion and Skyrim, and lumping them all together requires outright ignoring their mechanical differences.

And my point is that none of the mechanics you discussed actually make Morrowind "significantly better" than Oblivion or Skyrim.
Mechanically speaking, Morrowind is a rather weak game IMO. It has mechanics, but they are so poorly done or broken that it's not like having "many" is a strong point.
 

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