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Elder Scrolls Why Morrowind is a bad RPG

Sigourn

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What 50% to fail at spell? If your stamina is full and spell fits your skill level, it won't fail.

When you begin the game, no spell fits your skill level.

...then don't use it?

So you admit a school of magic is shit?

I mean, there are no useless Spell Schools in Morrowind

"Useless", no. But there's no denying Restoration School will see far more use than something like Mysticism.
 

Shadenuat

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That's not how I remember it. I do remember though, that a) spells you gain depend on what Schools you pick during chargen b) there's dude who can teach you some spells early and c) you can make your own fucking spells lah.

But there's no denying Restoration School will see far more use than something like Mysticism.
Not really. You can easily never invest into Restoration and just brew potions. Mysticism on other hand will raise all the time because you will cast teleportation spells all the time. Also it's incredibly powerful damaging school based around hp drain. And then there's soultrap.

But hey, for tele and soultrap you don't even need that much as for 500 hp drain in 50 ft. so I don't see a problem.
 
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Mebrilia the Viera Queen

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There is a distinction between Morrowind world building and New Vegas world building.
I enjoyed both i don't think one is better than the other really they are far different. Morrowind simulated a little fantasy society pretty well with Religion,Lore,Economics,Politics. Of course you never had the fancy dialogues of new vegas but the characters involved were far from forgettable.
Vivec,Dagoth Ur and Almalexia are a nice example.

New Vegas focus was more on the story of the characters you could encounter in your travels and how you could interact with them.

Like i said are two different approaches.
 

Sigourn

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That's not how I remember it.

Between your memory and mine, considering I've been playing Morrowind until yesterday, I'm inclined to listen to mine. It makes sense it works like that because combat also works like that. And it really isn't a problem unless you deal with those finicky schools of magic that see much more less regular use. You can easily use potions instead of investing in Restoration, but if you do decide to invest in Restoration you will use it all the time because receiving damage is as common as dealing damage in Morrowind.

Feels like "actually Morrowind wasn't that good" is a weekly topic on here.

A welcomed change of topic compared to "actually Skyrim was good". At least it sparks genuine and thoughtful discussion.
 
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King Crispy

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The Elder Scrolls games, every single one of them, have always relied upon, to varying degrees (more so the more recent they are), "player skill" to be successful in combat. Actually, to facilitate combat. This was true even in Arena and will continue to apply as these games are churned out. Obviously their first-person perspective demands such, so to complain about that aspect is folly.

Judge them based on their quests and their skill systems and their resemblance or lack thereof to a "real RPG", but stick to that because unless you've been living in an RPG cave all your life not knowing what to expect when it comes to combat in a Bethesda game is just plain dumb.
 

Shadenuat

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That's not how I remember it.

Between your memory and mine, considering I've been playing Morrowind until yesterday, I'm inclined to listen to mine. It makes sense it works like that because combat also works like that. And it really isn't a problem unless you deal with those finicky schools of magic that see much more less regular use. You can easily use potions instead of investing in Restoration, but if you do decide to invest in Restoration you will use it all the time because receiving damage is as common as dealing damage in Morrowind.

Feels like "actually Morrowind wasn't that good" is a weekly topic on here.

A welcomed change of topic compared to "actually Skyrim was good". At least it sparks genuine and thoughtful discussion.
Oh I see. You did not put some School as Primary/Secondary and probably played race without bonuses to magic skills, and find it hard to level up after... and think trainers are a crutch? I think I see where your problem is :Mwhy wouldn't you put some magicks into primary skills if you want to use magicks anyway?

Magic doesn't work "like combat". Melee rolls against enemy stats and checks things like enemy armor skill and stamina as well, your skill with weapon you are using etc. Magic otoh is just resistances (reducing damage), and Reflect and Absorption (which are separate rolls and even separate rolls on multiple sources of them, but that's technicalities).
 

Sigourn

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Oh I see. You did not put some School as Primary/Secondary and probably played race without bonuses to magic skills, and find it hard to level up after... and think trainers are a crutch? I think I see where your problem is :Mwhy wouldn't you put some magicks into primary skills if you want to use magicks anyway?

Are you being deliberately obtuse? What part of "I put X school of magic as a Primary skill" did you not understand? Like I said, I played the game until yesterday. What's next, you are going to claim the game begins in Sadrith Mora?

Magic doesn't work "like combat".

Except it does: you begin the game by easily missing attacks, and you begin the game by easily failing to cast spells. Note that by easily I don't mean "you miss 99% of your spells/attacks", I mean that with a 50/50 chance it is pretty easy to miss.
 

Shadenuat

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You're saying that you played the game as if it means something, like that you can't play it wrong. And I can easily tell that if you miss and especially miscast 50% of everything, you are doing something wrong.
 

Sigourn

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You're saying that you played the game as if it means something, like that you can't play it wrong.

No, I'm saying it as in "I've literally done the things you say I should have done, and you can still easily miss spells".
 

Shadenuat

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You can if you're fatigued or spell is too powerful. The simple example would be summoning spells, which have higher requirements than other spells, and by default often come for 60 seconds which is too much for low skill. But make one for 20 seconds, and you're good.

If you rolled a Destruction char, invested into Willpower & Luck some and not fatigued, you are not going to miss your Fire Bite against mudcrabs early. Simple as that.

It is actually somewhat true for weapons as well, unless you fight something high level.
 
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Swigen

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One time, when I was playing New Vegas, I was just outside of New Vegas at that part where some guy is liek, “you gonna need protection, dis place is dangerous mang!” and I was like, “Naw”. Well I start walking down the road when all of the sudden I hear gunshots, then the instakill CHHHKKKK!!! sound and the game goes into slowmo and I’m all “aawww fucking bullshit!!” ‘cause I thought I just got shot by someone I couldn’t even see. Then the camera pulls back and I see my companion (a lady I just met with a metal arm) punching some guy’s head off. I wasn’t instakilled, it was her VATS protecting me. Was pretty cool.
 

Dawkinsfan69

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Morrowind does immersion really well, in the sort of trippy way that only a few old 3d games like thief or that LSD game can do. I remember stumbling into a sixth house cave on accident once and being pretty freaked out. Even being inside a friendly building somewhere has a sort of unnatural feel to it, very cool.

I actually don't mind the combat, and I particularly like spells and spellmaking in this game. There aren't many RPGs that allow me to play as a monster summoner (my preferred playstyle) so I'm grateful that that's an option here. The game is absolutely broken from the ground up though and unfortunately fixing it requires you having played the game before and encountering the issues.. So the second or third time you play you know what needs to be fixed but it's like 'I've already played the game' so... Honestly the game is so broken that I don't even know if any number of mods can totally fix it, but it can be made better.

I kinda disagree on quest design. Even though you're not necessarily required to be a spellcaster in the mages guild for example, the quests have you doing 'mage-y' things like looking for secret texts or collecting mushrooms or whatever. Thieves guild has you stealing things fighter's guild has you fighting things. The religious guilds I think are the coolest and do a really good job with making you do religious type things. You could technically play through most of the guild lines with a single character but I don't think the game was really designed for one character to max out 20 skills and be grandmaster of 8 factions. They probably figured that warrior players would just join the fighter's guild, then maybe imperial legion, then house redoran, then do main quest and expansions and be done, for example. So they'd naturally just be using warrior-type skills. Honestly in the unmodded game if you are a leader of one faction you're probably able to 1-shot nearly everything in the game so there wouldn't be much point in even pursuing any of the other factions, you'd have more fun rolling a new character.

The dialogue imo is much better in text than the voice acted garbage in oblivion and skyrim. Many npcs have the same dialogues, sure, but the writing overall is way better.

All that said though morrowind is a very broken game and probably not worth the time. It's close to being really good but at the same time there are so many issues with it that mods can't even fix it.
 

Sigourn

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I kinda disagree on quest design. Even though you're not necessarily required to be a spellcaster in the mages guild for example, the quests have you doing 'mage-y' things like looking for secret texts or collecting mushrooms or whatever.

The Balmora Mages Guild is often praised because you start by servicing a low ranking member in finding mushrooms and flowers, and a lot of people (myself included) agree that it makes sense that you start out by doing menial tasks. But overall the Mages Guilds consist of glorified courier work. As in, you could literally be THE Courier from New Vegas doing these quests and you wouldn't even realize you are part of the Mages Guild, since all you are essentially doing is fetching stuff and working as a hitman/enforcer in many others.
 

Tweed

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The Balmora Mages Guild is often praised because you start by servicing a low ranking member in finding mushrooms and flowers, and a lot of people (myself included) agree that it makes sense that you start out by doing menial tasks. But overall the Mages Guilds consist of glorified courier work. As in, you could literally be THE Courier from New Vegas doing these quests and you wouldn't even realize you are part of the Mages Guild, since all you are essentially doing is fetching stuff and working as a hitman/enforcer in many others.

You missed the best part of that quest though, she sends you out to do all that menial crap even though she's suppose to be doing it and she even lies about it on her research papers that she also needs you to find.
 

Dawkinsfan69

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You missed the best part of that quest though, she sends you out to do all that menial crap even though she's suppose to be doing it and she even lies about it on her research papers that she also needs you to find.

Lol I forgot about that this cracks me up every time:

Ajira works very hard to collect these flower samples from the dangerous Lake Amaya. Ajira must do two reports and Galbedir must only do one silly report. Ajira deserves rank of Journeyman very soon now.
 

Zed Duke of Banville

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I'm not going to argue quest design because Morrowind has one unfair advantage that makes its quests more interesting than they are. And that is the lack of quest markers. Add quest markers to Morrowind's quests, and you will quickly realize how most of them are Skyrim-level filler. I agree with the static NPCs. Hell, there are a lot of things I don't like about Morrowind, I just mentioned the one that stops me from replaying the game and enjoying it at the same time. I could also talk about:
  • How it is one of the most offensively ugly 3D RPGs ever made. Many people will laugh, but when you happen to be running from one place to the other all the time, you kind of expect the graphics to make it worthwile, because that's all you are seeing while pressing forward.
:nocountryforshitposters:

Morrowind has the best aesthetic design of any 3D RPG ever made, coupled with technical aspects that were near cutting-edge at the time Morrowind was released in early 2002. Unfortunately, all 3D graphics are subject to aging in a way that 2D graphics are not. At the time Morrowind was released, I thought that 3D graphics might finally have reached a point where they wouldn't age, but looking at Morrowind a decade later it was clear that was not the case, and the technical aspects continued to relatively deteriorate year by year as is the case for all 3D graphics. Fortunately, there are a variety of mods to improve the technical aspects of Morrowind's graphics while retaining the original aesthetics, and the Morrowind Graphics Overhaul (MGSO) is sufficient to restore Morrowind to its glory.

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LvfoLrE.jpg
 

MWaser

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Of course Morrowind is a terrible RPG, just like all the Bethesda games. They were never good, just had some fun stuff in it to do and experience, occassionally with some creative and interesting quests.

Morrowind's main enjoyable aspect is the game's malleability, the freedom not in this silly storytelling aspect, but the complete freedom to break and abuse the game in any way you want. It's an enjoyable min-max experience and the way you become Godlike can both be much easier and dumber than in the other TES games, while it can also be more creative and requiring more effort. If you try playing Morrowind as only its basic, core game without engaging your own creativity into it, you will find that in its essence it'll be rather dull, because you're only coming along for a ride that's frankly not very interesting once you have seen its concept a few times already. An amusement park with interesting environmental design, but little actual fun rides therein. But that's why the fun lies in tweaking the ride, abusing the gameplay of the game while using the story as a perfectly salvagable and moderately entertaining basis for playing out the various power fantasies.

That is why Oblivion and Skyrim really cannot hold out, comparatively in this self-made experience, because they seeverely limited the levels to which you can exploit the game in a fun and creative way, and even though the both of those are still highly exploitable, it tends to be in a much more grindy or unreasonable glitchy ways (although there are spell combinations in Oblivion that can fulfill a bit of this experimental joy). On a quest, storytelling and world-design level Morrowind is still rather high placed amongst Bethesda games, and that really just emphasizes how low the bar is for Bethesda in particular. Making good games was never in their ability, they just made sandboxes that were made into even sandboxier sandboxes with exponentially increasing modability capabilities. If you're looking for good RPGs, you'll never find any in history of bethesda's creations.
 

Sigourn

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Morrowind has the best aesthetic design of any 3D RPG ever made

I believe the Imperial textures are awful but every other texture looks nice. But the vanilla lighting is simply awful, same with the character models.

the Morrowind Graphics Overhaul (MGSO) is sufficient to restore Morrowind to its glory.

Opinion dismissed, because MGSO doesn't respect the vanilla aesthetic, and in fact (as that Seyda Neen picture you showed proves) the vanilla aesthetic was fairly shit. Contrast how those trees look compared to Seyda Neen's awkward trees. And here it is not a matter of polygons: the trees look radically different.

(Not to mention mods aren't the same as the vanilla game, which is what we are discussing...)
 
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Open Path

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Morrowind is a game that, as opposed to what its RPG label and its "open world freedom!" would lead me to believe, is a game that gets more and more boring the more I play through it. There are many reasons as to why I find Morrowind boring, but there is one in particular that outright breaks the game for me. And that is quest design. Morrowind's quests can be divided in two:
  • Non-faction quests, which rarely demand something out of your build.
  • Faction quests, which are usually oriented towards your build.
We can see an immediate difference with New Vegas: whereas Morrowind's quests are separated between "incloosive" and "gatekeeping", New Vegas quests, most of the time, have specific skill checks to unlock different paths or rewards. But even Morrowind's faction quests are a lie:
  • Thieves Guild/Hlaalu: you can easily spam the Persuade or Taunt button to pass most of the quests oriented towards "smoothtalkers".
  • Mages Guild/Telvanni: very few quests actually demand your magic-oriented character to use their magic, if any.
  • Fighters Guild/Redoran: very few quests actually demand you to engage in opponents in physical combat, if any.


Whatever is your intention with this thread, you are wrong in your title premise, you are wrong in your quest design diatribe and probably you never understood (even try?) the true motivations why many codexers and many other players value Morrowind as some type of experience as no other.

Starting by the last, Morrowind best components are worldbuilding, exploration and game content/diversity/uniqueness which are excellent: There are no other games that offer so many layers of societal life or subtle details directly linked with some quest or lore, the rich and complex exploration mechanics and content aren't even challenged yet by any other videogame, few games can't even compare to Morrowind magic system, or its 18 body slots, or the huge amount of interactive items probably the largest ever, or so many uniqueness -unique items, npcs, creatures- in which probably Morrowind is the best also, or the diversity of services, or so many factions, etc.

Other contexts in Morrowind experience as combat, main story or writting are decent mostly, with little exceptions not brilliant, but still better than many games in the codex top 70, and most rpgs out the list. So how to have "Bad quest design" if that was the case, makes a game so brilliant in other contexts "a bad rpg"?

I already knew the combat-crew opinion for whom combat, specially tactical, is the main (or only) reason to value a rpg, in which case neither Morrowind or New Vegas are in the Top 10 for sure. But this quest-design-centric perspective is new for me... In fact, most of the best combat-heavy rpgs are no better (when have at all) in these "quest checks" or "faction's quests design" than Morrowind.

Anyways your classification of Morrowind factions is grotesquely inaccurate. Firstly you intentionally omited near half vanilla Morrowind major factions: Imperial Cult, Imperial Legion, Morag Tong and Tribunal Temple. So in what branch of your absurd classification fits exactly the two religious faction, and what approach "should" have every quest of these factions? Why exactly do you classify Redoran with the Fighter's Guild, but not the Imperial Legion? And specially why do you assume that every faction should have monolithic thematic and approaches to complete their quests?? Even worst, why the fuck the factions should adequate to your character skills? What a shitty and simplistic worldbuilding is that? Morrowind factions favor specific skills and have a non linear limiting design for advance not a cliche general stealth-melee-magic approach and I think this is fairly superior perspective even if untapped in Morrowind.

Monolithic thematic closed skill checks in faction quests is a terribly simplistic design, far worst, than open approach but with limited design and support to alternative solutions in Morrowind. In a ideal improved Morrowind quests design, I would love to see just the opposite: More approaches to solve the quests, not less...

Redoran faction quests, for example, shouldn't limit you to finish them by the use of melee combat... but simply make the skills favored by the guild useful in most quest. With faction checks, the player must improve the favored skills (by the faction, of course) to advance and have access to new quests and rewards, so makes sense that you use at least some of these skills regularly.

The character specialization limits, should be governed by the character progression/skill system always. Limit the possible approaches in quest solving is a bad design.

When your game's RPG elements ultimately boil down to your prowess in combat, and when said combat is arguably one of the worst combats RPGs have ever seen (and this is ultimately what will get users to agree with me or not), then you have a bad RPG in your hands. Morrowind's quests are a mostly linear affair, require no particular skills, and the ones which do require skills are either "fake" (e.g. faction questlines) or require cheesing (i.e. stealth quests).

How? In what sense is Morrowind combat "one of the worst combats" in rpgs?

Are plenty of good games with worst combats, not even counting the bad rpgs, but only the games in codex top 70 crpgs. In fact in what sense is New Vegas shitty-shooter combat any better than Morrowind's? In 17 years since Morrowind release the only complaints about combat as essentially horrible, among the worst, not simply worse than a good combat, but "the worst! I can't hit a mudcrab", that I ever seen are the casual retards later-TES, Kingdom's of Amalur, etc lovers that never played Fallout, Wyzardrys or Ultimas. So I'm genuinely interested to know how you justify Morrowind's combat as "one of the worst ever"...

As I said isn't a specially good combat, lacks balance and a bit of challenge, but fatigue influence, weapon deterioration, unique enemies, enemies extremely diverse use of magic, possibility to fail attacks or spells, attacks types and damage dependence of these types in different weapons, one of the most diverse and dynamic magic combats ever -even if overpowered-, attribute-skill heavy dependent combat, difference in weapons reach, underwater combat, very good looting after victory (good by diversity and uniqueness, even if sometimes overpowering) and some other features that I possibly forgot all makes Morrowind combat a decent experience for a rpg fan, specially comparing with the two simple combat games that you mention in your message. Most rpg ever made have far more simple, action based, less challenging, less rewarding or even less balanced combats, so how can be Morrowind's "one of the worst"?

An how can be quests that can be solved in several ways, without a specific skill limitation and with factions that permit finish the quest in different orders and allow to not finish at all some of them in order to reach higher ranks "linear" quests?


as opposed to Morrowind's factions demanding requirements that are never asked to be put into use explicitly

Again, Why is the limitation in quest solving by only using some skills something positive? Character skill use "limits" must be imposed by skill-character progression systems not by simpleton, monolithic and worldbuilding breaking, quest solving limitations design.

play through the Mages Guild as a fighter, or play through the Redoran quests as a mage

Wut? And faction-favoured skill checks? But anyway why must a political, interest or economic faction in a gameworld limit the fucking way to solve quests by a character? How these limits outside the skill-character system are a good design?
 
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I can't honestly say I've "replayed" New Vegas a lot, in the sense of "yeah I made it to the end of the game five times". In fact, I've never, ever, finished New Vegas. I always bail out just as the Hoover Dam battle is available. Why, I can't say.

I have heard other people say this as well. I don't get it. You reach very close to the end after dozens of hours of play, and then you don't spend 20 mins to finish it? Put a power armor on and go.
I do this a lot. I think I just hate finishing games because it feels so final, especially because I don't seem to do it with games that have sequels.
 

DalekFlay

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Of course Morrowind is a terrible RPG, just like all the Bethesda games. They were never good, just had some fun stuff in it to do and experience, occassionally with some creative and interesting quests.

Bethesda excel at literally one thing: world creation. They make great worlds for people to wander around in, that's their "special talent" that their mothers bragged about. Even Oblivion, as bland and fucking generic as you can get, was literally designed to be as bland and generic as you get on purpose. They excelled at being generic. Morrowind is one of my favorite games ever because it created a world I loved being in, and that's pretty much the end of it. They don't really excel at anything else, merely create passable (Morrowind, Skyrim) or barely tolerable (Oblivion, Fallout 4) RPG systems to fuck around with while exploring their worlds.

This is why... get ready for it... Fallout New Vegas is so amazing. It takes the Bethesda world creation algorithm and adds actual cool story and RPG systems to it.
 

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