I just find chitin, bonemold & even steel a bit too cool to have such a small window in the game. I think more ppl should wear netch with funky helmets and maybe mail or something. That's why I thought maybe different quality for various armor could be used to make these cool armors matter. Steel, after all, is very varied when it comes to quality when made by one armorsmith or another.
So is chitin I take it, as Indoril armor is some laminated bug stuff with gold and chain.Heavy and Light Armor have really bad progression in the base game, since Light goes straight from Chitin to Glass, and even though Heavy technically has Dwarven as a stopping off point between Steel and Ebony, it actually doesn't provide that much more AR (20 compared to 15) and is pretty rare compared to how strong it is. Medium is really the only one with decent granular progression, but those early game bits and pieces like Ringmail and Chain are pointless, so you're probably picking up Bonemold straight away and then upgrading to Orcish as soon as you kill some Malacath worshipers or whatever. Pick up Dreugh or even Indoril afterwards. The real problem is that very early game sets (Fur, Netch Leather, Iron, Chain) are so easy to pass over that no player will ever use them, meaning that they exist only as window dressing for NPCs. Even the heavily level-scaled Oblivion and Skyrim suffer from this, where Leather and Steel are easy to purchase or obtain even at Level 1, making Fur and Iron entirely pointless.I usually keep steel the whole game if i'm heavy armor just for the aesthetic. It's not like you need the extra armor, and if you really suck you can get it in other ways.
I agree that it's probably intentional, but that doesn't mean I have to like it and that it isn't an inefficient use of resources. It's gear that 99% of players won't touch for more than thirty minutes due to how plentiful, cheap and easily available the next tier of equipment is, and it's a problem that continues into Oblivion and Skyrim. Medium Armor's endgame woes are somewhat overstated if you go from a purely powergaming perspective, since the Ebony Mail is available as an option for Medium Armor characters and it's easily the strongest cuirass in the game, making up for the problems with the rest of Medium Armor. The issue, of course, is that it's locked behind the Tribunal Temple questline which is relatively niche compared to the Great Houses or Imperial Guilds. I also agree that Morrowind's itemization of common sets with unique items/artifacts sprinkled in is incredible, and I wish that more games followed suit. It makes the world feel more "real".I'm of the opinion the pointlessness of first tier gear is intentional and it's there to outfit NPCs (who can make up for its low quality with inflated skill and numbers) without giving the player something of meaningful value on every NPC they kill. Medium armor actually does have a bit of progression itself (indeed, it's actually better than heavy armor till Ebony since Steel is so bad) even if you get bonemold relatively quick since Imperial Chain Greaves, dragonscale cuirass, Gah-Julan, and Armun-An all have slightly better defense while being non-unique. The problem is none of them are even remotely a complete set and without the expansions you have no real end-game sets. I actually like how Morrowind has common equipment be largely interchangable instead of a loot treadmill, and only rare and unusual items are worth swapping your trusty gear for. It just needs the gap between light/medium/heavy armor values be to larger, third tier armor noticeably better than second tier armor, and the economy not totally fucked up so money being spent largely on training (as the blades trainers halfway imply is intended) instead of shopkeeps having artifacts everywhere actually matters .