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Elder Scrolls Ways in which Morrowind indisputably inclined from Daggerfall

LarryTyphoid

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Been playing these two recently. Sometimes on the Codex it's treated as a given that Morrowind was dumbed-down decline from Daggerfall, even from fans of the game. From what I've seen so far, I disagree. Here are some observations of incline in Morrowind:

Morrowind made playing a pure warrior character actually fun. In Daggerfall, magic is a necessity. Without the Recall spell, your time spent in dungeons can be almost doubled depending on how deep you had to delve, and how well you can deal with the in-game automap. Without crucial effects like Resist Shock, monsters such as Vampire Ancients and Liches will instantly kill you with recourse. Levitate is extremely useful in randomly generated dungeons, and literally required in main story dungeons (you can be softlocked if you don't have it - some objects are present that can be activated to gain the effect, but some are nonfunctional due to glitches). If you're not a High Elf (or if you didn't select "immune to paralysis" in the in-game cheat menu that is custom class creation), Free Action is necessary to survive the many monsters that paralyze you, including early-game enemies like Giant Spiders.
Arena had a solution to these sorts of issues for non-magic characters - magic items and potions. Any character could go to the Mages' Guild and purchase magic items (which, when invoked, could cast any spell in the game a limited amount of times) or potions. Magic items were also the most common loot drop. But Daggerfall introduced joinable factions - in order to incentivize players to join these factions, they locked the ability to purchase potions and enchanted items behind guild ranks, and in their eagerness to do so, neglected giving non-magic characters any way to safely prepare in the early-game.
Enchanted items and custom enchantment is locked entirely behind the Mages' Guild, and the Mages' Guild requires the player to have a certain level in magic skills, so it's not like later games where you can join and get the benefits even as a no-magic shitter.
Potions are locked behind temple ranks. You have to reach at least rank 2 (depending on the temple) to be able to buy potions. In order to achieve such a rank, you will likely have to brave at least one dungeon without any sort of magical protection, and temple missions often have you fighting ghosts or other creatures that require higher weapon material types to even damage. Against such enemies, you might be able to use enchanted items to cast fireball spells, but alas, we already know that such is impossible for the warrior character without extremely good luck in loot drops.
If the player does survive long enough to reach the required rank for potion buying, they had better hope they joined a temple NOT dedicated to either Kynareth or Julianos - these temples do not offer potion selling, no matter how high your rank is. And you can only join one temple - you must get yourself expelled somehow if you want to join another one. And Kynareth is the most widely worshiped Divine in the starting province of Daggerfall.

My level 2 Nord Knight at the Temple of Kynareth:


How did Morrowind solve this gaping problem in Daggerfall's class balance? It's simple. They just went back to how it was in Arena. Even if you're not a member of the Mages' Guild, you can still just walk in and buy enchanted items and potions. Potions are also commonly sold in many stores outside of the Mages' Guild. So a warrior can gain access to most of the utility of magic that mages can access, except they need to prepare more in advance by spending money on scrolls and enchantments. This is how this should be handled, and Daggerfall messed it up completely. Because I was so conditioned by Daggerfall, I first tried to play Morrowind with a hybrid warrior-mage character, but I just couldn't craft a character that I really enjoyed. So I threw all those ideas away and made a pure Nord Barbarian, and I'm enjoying my run with him a lot so far. I'm packing potions of Cure Disease, Cure Paralysis, and lots of healing potions - I feel properly like a well-prepared and experienced adventurer straight from the works of Robert E. Howard, rather than a bumbling, impotent clown getting paralyzed by every spider he comes across.

I had more observations but this OP is too long already, so I'll make another post later. Feel free to add to the thread with your own thoughts on this subject.
 

Serus

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procedurally generated dungeons were replaced by handcrafted ones.
Fake news. A mix of hand crafted and procedural dungeons was replaced by hand crafted ones.
 

NecroLord

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Great soundtrack(more High Fantasy than Daggerfall,who also has an awesome soundtrack).
More outdoor exploration than Daggerfall(who is mostly a dungeon crawler, as most of the real action takes place in dungeons).
While Daggerfall is my favorite game in the series(and one of my Top 10 Rpg's),Morrowind was better in other areas.
 
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Races in Morrowind are more distinct from one another by way of active special abillities and whatnot. On top of that it introduced orcs and imperials as options.
 

0sacred

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makes me think of that blog I read of some guy detailing his ironman runs using gimp characters in Daggerfall. Like a pure thief surviving on stealing shit and running from guards. He played that character for like a year and never even entered a dungeon.

Now who would do that in a shite RPG like Morrowind? No one.
 
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While the third person mode is mostly shit gameplay-wise, I really like the option to be able to see my character interacting with things.
 

Fowyr

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Great soundtrack(more High Fantasy than Daggerfall,who also has an awesome soundtrack).
False.
Morrowind has good, but ultimately very repetitive soundtrack, when Daggerfall has more fantasy-feel music that depended on the season and location.
More outdoor exploration than Daggerfall
True. Daggerfall's outdoor was, ultimately, an empty plain. Still, the feeling of finding some unknown dungeon or coven was great. I liked Arena's outdoor as well. It had pretty neat little surface dungeons.
While Daggerfall is my favorite game in the series(and one of my Top 10 Rpg's),Morrowind was better in other areas.
True.
 

LarryTyphoid

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makes me think of that blog I read of some guy detailing his ironman runs using gimp characters in Daggerfall. Like a pure thief surviving on stealing shit and running from guards. He played that character for like a year and never even entered a dungeon.
Got a link? Sounds interesting.
 

0sacred

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Codex Year of the Donut
makes me think of that blog I read of some guy detailing his ironman runs using gimp characters in Daggerfall. Like a pure thief surviving on stealing shit and running from guards. He played that character for like a year and never even entered a dungeon.
Got a link? Sounds interesting.

nop, can't find it anymore. Shame, it was a well kept little site.
 

The_Mask

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Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I helped put crap in Monomyth
I think the three things that hooked me about Morrowind happened at exact intervals to keep me interested.

1. I think my best buddy at the time was playing the game, and I was at his place. He made his character, and proceeded to deal with the ring mini-quest at the start of the game. Once he dealt with that he realized he had to head towards Balmora, so instead of taking the Silt, or going into the nearby thieves den, he decided to take it in the only direction left that remained on land. So... lo-and-behold an adventurer falls, and he drops some scrolls. My friend uses one of the scrolls, which promptly ends with his death.

Unmitigated incline. We laughed for a minute straight.

2. I go home and I start my copy, and I do roughly the same start as he did, I clear the area of quests, and the bandit den... and then head to Balmora on the Silt. I find Caius, and he tells me to get some stuff for him... and then he tells me "go out there... adventure, explore... see what Morrowind has to offer".
I liked this. I liked the lack of urgency. Naturally, I continued the quest much later when I was the head of pretty much all the major guilds in Morrowind. There was no reactivity to this, but by that point, I didn't need any.

3. As I did some of the first quests for the Fighter's guild... I think it's the one where you have to deal with a Kwama Queen... I exited the mine, and I heard the wolf howls and the night atmosphere. I saw the mushrooms. Heard the river flowing. Looked up at Morrowind's night sky... and I was hooked.

At that moment I knew I wanted to have everyone on that little island know of my name.




So I guess that's Morrowind's strengths: has some moments of levity, when you least expect it; it lets you take your time to figure things out; and the atmosphere + music are some of the best out there.
 

YldrE

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I find Caius, and he tells me to get some stuff for him... and then he tells me "go out there... adventure, explore... see what Morrowind has to offer".
I liked this. I liked the lack of urgency.
To me this point happened a little earlier, when you exit the tutorial building and you get a pop-up box saying "go off and do whatever, good luck". Then I took a look at the map, and admittedly I had no point of comparison at the time, being more into shooters and strategy, but I was overwhelmed at how massive that map looked. It really felt like you were just dropped off into the great unknown.

Intentionally or not, that sentiment remains throughout the game, since in-universe Vvardenfell is a shithole province and in-media the game presentation is very austere (few NPCs, no real city or crowd background noise). Even the biggest settlements never really feel big or welcoming, merely outposts in the wilderness.

Morrowind was my first real RPG but even after playing Arena and Daggerfall there are still things that are only really possible with the kind of 3D fidelity that Morrowind has, in particular elaborate trekking instructions would be hard to pull off in a Daggerfall-like engine even if the outdoors weren't randomly generated. Carefully finding your way in an unwelcoming province was a large part of the adventure.
 

spockthewok

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:negative:

That moment when you realize Silt Striders are nearly extinct after Red Mountain erupted and rendered much of Vvardenfell uninhabitable.
>Todd makes sure that Morrowind gets repeatedly raped in the lore just to dab on people who keep saying Morrowind is better than Oblivion & Skyrim
He can't keep getting away with this.
 

Zed Duke of Banville

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:negative:

That moment when you realize Silt Striders are nearly extinct after Red Mountain erupted and rendered much of Vvardenfell uninhabitable.
Nothing after Morrowind is canonical; it can all be overwritten via the power of CHIM.

ccvmpa.jpg
 
Unwanted
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Codex Year of the Donut
:negative:

That moment when you realize Silt Striders are nearly extinct after Red Mountain erupted and rendered much of Vvardenfell uninhabitable.
>Todd makes sure that Morrowind gets repeatedly raped in the lore just to dab on people who keep saying Morrowind is better than Oblivion & Skyrim
He can't keep getting away with this.
you guys know Todd Howard made Morrowind, right?
 
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Part of the appeal of Daggerfall is navigating your way back out of the dungeon after clearing it out. Recall rightfully should be a mage only ability with magic being a thing only people who really spent time studying it should be able to do it and Morrowind ruined that concept by making enchanted items as common as dung in a sewer.
 

JarlFrank

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
The only ways Morrowind declined from Daggerfall was the removal of advantages and disadvantages in character creation. Other than that, it is pure incline.

- A proper overworld to explore rather than just cities and dungeons dotted around a featureless plain. Some outdoor areas, like the area behind Ghostfence, are dungeons in their own right.
- Everything is handcrafted. While a lot of dungeons are too tiny to really make use of it (most ancestral tombs are just three hallways, that's it), there are several dungeons with really cool features where levitation becomes useful. And of course, as already mentioned, the overworld is much more interesting to explore than in Daggerfall. Also, hand-placed loot is so much better than hoping for random drops.
- While Morrowind's "wiki-style" dialog system isn't the best system ever made, it's a step above Daggerfall's which only serves as a way to ask for directions and nothing more.
- The worldbuilding is a lot more interesting. Morrowind is an alien, exotic place with a ton of interesting things to discover. Incredibly detailed and incredibly interesting. The best Elder Scrolls game just for this alone.
- Spears.

The things Daggerfall does better:

- Character creation gives you more options, especially with the advantages and disadvantages, and the associated leveling speed adjustments.
- Dungeons have been randomly generated by sticking pre-made pieces together, so you often get "dungeon vu": you end up seeing the same places over and over again. But Daggerfall's dungeons do have the advantage of being much larger and therefore more interesting to explore. You can actually get lost in them, unlike Morrowind's much smaller ones.

Overall, Morrowind clearly wins out.
 

Hagashager

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I recently replayed Daggerfall and replayed Morrowind last fall.

Daggerfall has cool elements, it's very much a "fantasy-life simulator" but I found its designs reminding me more of Oblivion the more I played.

The proc-gen dungeons, leveled loot, enemies and quests get old. The world has the illusion of being rich only if you pretend it is beyond the sprites. There's a very small variety of weapons and armor, including fewer armor slots than Morrowind.

Morrowind really does feel like an evolution in everything but plot because there is simply more to do and it's meaningfully integrated into the world.

You have spears, crossbows, throwing weapons, left and right gauntlets/pauldrons, even the magic is more varied. As others said, you have to be some flavor of battlemage in Daggerfall, there is simply no getting around this like in Morrowind.
 

Deadyawn

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The user interface. Right click and everything you could ever want is on your screen and you can drag and resize it however you prefer. Incredible interface.
 

LarryTyphoid

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Recently I have been playing Daggerfall as a Breton Knight (pre-fab Knight, no cheating custom class bullshit, so that means no magic) and actually enjoying it a lot, despite my previous criticisms. The very first thing I did is go to the Temple of Stendarr to start raising in the ranks. I had to do about 3 dungeons before I was able to access the potion merchant. I avoided giant spiders (and the one giant scorpion I unluckily came across as a level 3 character) by shooting them from afar with a bow, since the Knight class has archery as a major skill. Though this ended up being unnecessary since I later found out the pre-fab Knight class is immune to paralysis. The only problem I came across were underwater segments in dungeons, but there's an easy solution before you can access water walking and water breathing potions - the Buoyancy spell from the Mages' Guild is so cheap that anybody can cast it.

Now my Knight is level 10 and has defeated numerous liches and ancient vampires in the pursuit of the main quest. I also switched to Daggerfall Unity for this playthrough (I was using DOSBox before) and am reaping the benefits of its vastly improved dungeon map. I can navigate through dungeons so easily that I don't even miss the Recall spell. I'm also packing tons of enchanted items I found in dungeons, including items that let me cast Paralysis and Force Bolt. Playing a pure warrior is the real nigga way to play Daggerfall. I now disagree with my original post (though Morrowind still improved upon Daggerfall in some ways that others have not yet mentioned in this thread, which I'll go into further later).
 

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