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Elder Scrolls Why Morrowind is a bad RPG

Discussion in 'Bethesda Game Studios' started by Sigourn, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Funposter Arbiter

    Funposter
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    I'm pretty sure that the faction reputation system was meant to put a stop to, or at least discourage things like this, but they didn't really implement it properly. I don't have time to test it, but I'd imagine that if you went through the entire Telvanni questline and didn't increase your base Personality, people in the Mages Guild would hate you enough to simply not speak with you, and vice versa. Problems like this are solved by the broken economy and the player's easy access to thousands of gold for bribing people. This system also didn't stop players from simply joining all of the factions early on, before their reputation is strong enough to really piss anybody off.

    Edit: Also I'm pretty sure that a partial justification for the player being able to become head of so many factions (and so quickly) is that Vvardenfell is a shitty, backwater hellhole. It's where the factions send their idiots and fuck-ups like Trebonius, so that nobody important has to deal with them. The only exception to this is House Redoran, who moved their entire council onto the island.
     
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  2. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Morrowind is designed for the player to join and advance through three of the ten guilds/factions that offer a multitude of quests, of which only the three Great Houses are mutually exclusive. These ten guilds/factions have a natural division between those more suited for fighter-type characters (House Redoran, Fighters Guild, and Imperial Legion), more suited for thief-type characters (House Hlaalu, Thieves Guild, and Dark Brotherhood), and more suited for mage-type characters (House Telvanni, Mages Guild, Imperial Cult, and Tribunal Temple). However, since Morrowind allows characters to be hybrids in myriad ways, given its skill-based character customization, players are offered the option of mixing and matching the guilds/factions as they prefer (other than the restriction for Great Houses).

    The game does not prevent any player, if he so desires, from attempting to experience as much of the game's content as possible with a single, overleveled, overpowered character, and therefore it is possible for a single character to rise to the top of the Vvardenfell hierarchy in 8 of the 10 guilds/factions, but the fault for such activity lies in the player, not the game, which is designed to allow for three playthroughs experiencing almost entirely different content aside from the main quest.
     
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  3. Zanzoken Arcane

    Zanzoken
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    There really should've been hard limits on faction membership though. Doing low-level stuff for all of them is fine, but it makes sense that advancing to the upper ranks of a faction would require you to renounce all of your other loyalties.

    You could choose to make exceptions where lore permits, such as a Redoran councillor who is also allowed a high rank in the Tribunal Temple. But the player should've been limited to a single grandmaster position per playthrough, and each faction should've had interesting content that only opens up when you become the boss.
     
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  4. Kainan Educated

    Kainan
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    I meant how in that quest you have no reason to give the money. Though you dont know that beforehand. But in other quests you have that choice wheter to keep, sell or give item or gold. This is good design.
    I cant remember any quests in Oblivion lol. Though it was over a decade ago. Maybe ill try it again but thing is you have to play it with mods at least for scaling and quest compass bc no matter how good the quests are its pointlelss doing them. While Morrowind no matter how broken is still sensibly designed and you have to aprecciate that.
    I understand but you could say the same about almost any rpg, just change the name and it reads the same. Its not fair to single out Morrowind when it isnt much worse than others.
     
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  5. Geckabor Learned

    Geckabor
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    To be fair, there are skill requirements towards ranking up in guilds and they require you to have at least one skill relevant to them that you're really good at.

     
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  6. Funposter Arbiter

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    The problem, as pointed out earlier in this thread, is that the player can very easily access training due to the broken economy which makes many of the skill requirements pointless. Furthermore, it's perfectly possible for the player to have a Required Skill for every faction using just three Major Skills:

    Long Blade (House Redoran, Imperial Legion, Fighter's Guild)
    Mysticism (Mages Guild, House Telvanni, Imperial Cult, Tribunal Temple)
    Light Armor (House Hlaalu, Morag Tong, Thieves Guild)

    Rather obnoxiously, these are all really good skills too, especially in a purely vanilla playthrough where you can spam Absorb Health with impunity since it can't be reflected.
     
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  7. SausageInYourFace Codexian Sausage Patron

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    I will never, not in a thousand years, understand the frequent complaints on the Codex about optional and easily avoidable features in TES games. If players find it immersion breaking that their fighter can become archmage then they should just not join the mages guild.

    Instead, the game should somehow be better if I as player am forced to start from scratch with a character, possibly after many hours of play, every time I want to experience a different faction storyline or gameplay? Yea, no. But if you guys want to start from scratch with a different character to do that, you can still do it. You already have the freedom to play however you want but for some reason the game would somehow be better to you if you limit other player's freedom to what you feel makes more sense to you?

    Let me play however the fuck I want. My PC was leader of the thieves guild and of the mages guild and I'll be damned if I start a second playthrough for that shit.
     
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  8. Jugashvili 管官的官 Patron

    Jugashvili
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    The Fighters Guild and Thieves Guild questlines are also incompatible if you do FG quests that help the Cammona Tong. You can do both, but it requires you to be careful and work around it.
     
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  9. Rincewind Educated

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    I pretty much agree with all what you said in this post and in your previous posts. The lore seemed quite interesting in the beginning, but eventually got frustrated with reading books while actually trying to, you know, play a videogame. Don't get me wrong, I love reading sci-fi and fantasy books, but to me it just kills the pacing to spend 10-15 minutes reading books in the middle of a gaming session. It just became a chore, I found myself wanting to get to the end of the books in the fastest possible way so I can finally get on with the actual game... Also, the Vivec books are really just annoying pretentious garbage. I don't care reading about some random guy's nonsensical drug fueled "visions", thank you very much. I'm pretty sure he just tried to obscure things as much as possible and use strange wording so it seems "profound". I'm of the firm opinion that flowery long prose and books have just no place in a videogame (well, maybe a few here and there, okay, but not as a main element of the game). I very much prefer to the point games where you learn the story from the setting, the dialogue and a slowly unfolding plot. Gothic is a prime example of this, also the first Witcher.

    Quest design is quite lame too, no interesting interlocking quests like in ELEX, for example, and especially not much world reactivity (ELEX is again a good recent example of this). Go here and fetch X or kill Y, that pretty much sums it up.

    I'm on my first playthrough, I'm a 40 level mage, just became the friend of the Urshilaku, and there's hardly any challenge left. I can beat pretty much anybody with paralyse/levitate + absorb health and/or spamming fireballs. Already have 25k gold, so there isn't a whole lot of a point exploring another dungeon or ruin because I don't really need the money and just killing opponents the same way is kinda boring. So I think I'll just carry on with the main quest and maybe only occasionally explore. Which is a shame because in the first 20 or so hours exploring was really rewarding and there was a constant sense of danger when running into much stronger opponents. But after the first 15 or 20 caves and tombs and dwemer ruins, the rest feels to be kind of the samey...

    I still want to finish the game as I'm curious about the story, but honestly so far I think it's waaaaay overrated and just too slow overall. A few months back I replayed Eye of the Beholder I and I know it's totally different, but that's what I'd call a well-paced, to-the-point gaming experience with no fluff whatsoever. Morrowind feels like it's gonna never end...
     
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  10. Funposter Arbiter

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    I think it's a legitimate complaint in Oblivion where there are literally no restrictions on joining different guilds, or even worse in Skyrim, where the player is virtually railroaded into joining various factions by having the issue shoved in their face - Companions killing Giant outside of Whiterun, being forced to go to the College of Winterhold for MQ, choosing whether to follow Hadvar/Ralof in the tutorial and Brynjolf constantly badgering the player anytime they go to Riften, along with being forced to speak with him to find Esbern in the MQ. The only faction which is handled semi-competently in this regard is the Dark Brotherhood, since you at least need to complete an entire quest to make contact, and then you have a chance to destroy their sanctuary. This is far superior to Oblivion's tenuous definition of murder for Lucien Lachance contacting the player and the player killing him leading to absolutely nothing.

    But I digress. I made the point that you only need three skill to advance in every faction in Morrowind, but the truth is that you'd probably need to be intentionally powergaming or somehow going out of your way to do so. In Oblivion and Skyrim, I feel like a lot of players complete every faction questline with a single character. I'd ask what proportion of Morrowind players do the same. It's not that you can't, it's more that the very minor roadblocks put in your way are enough to discourage a lot of people, and that the amount of content in the game and the overall powerlevel of the content probably leaves most players feeling satisfied after two or three faction questlines + the Main Quest, which Zed pointed out is likely the way the game was designed to be played.
     
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  11. Funposter Arbiter

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    congratulations you spent enough time in a game you dislike to become level 40 when the content caps out at approx level 23
     
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  12. Rincewind Educated

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    Yeah that sums it up pretty well. It had its moments in the first 20 hours or so, I still love the atmosphere of the Bitter Coast and I'll still finish it, but more for just to ticking the "I completed Morrowind" box than for genuine enjoyment. Unless the main story will take some unexpected turn suddenly that will make me re-evaluate my opinion about the whole game. But the gameplay clearly isn't really there.
     
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  13. Rincewind Educated

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    WTF, I haven't explored much of the map yet, about 80% is still unexplored. Don't tell me I'm expected to rush through the main quest without exploring anything, because otherwise I "break" the game... I have honestly no idea how is it possible to finish the whole game without going above level ~23.

    Also, I'm not saying I dislike it, there are moments when the atmosphere is just perfect when exploring, but things just get repetitive fast. So now I'm playing it with longish pauses to keep the experience somewhat fresh.
     
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  14. Funposter Arbiter

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    It's a game designed to be played across multiple characters and despite what people in this thread might try to tell you, the game reinforces this pretty much every step of the way. Ascended Sleeps start spawning around Red Mountain at Level 23, so that's pretty much peak game difficulty. iirc, the first expansion (Tribunal) was balanced around Level 30 characters or so, and then the second expansion, Bloodmoon, was for characters at around Level 40-50 (especially with the endgame health bloat present in Bloodmoon).

    Last time I played through the game, I was done with the Fighter's Guild, Imperial Legion, 75% of the Imperial Cult and the Main Quest at Level 18. Granted, I tend to gimp myself on purpose to make the game a bit more interesting. I also did a Telvanni character earlier this year who got to Level 30~, but that was with a levelling mod and also I spent a lot of that exploring Tamriel Rebuilt content, playing around with some Vampire and quest mods etc.
     
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  15. Rincewind Educated

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    Hmm, that's interesting. Btw, I'm not playing the vanilla game but with most of the gameplay mods from Sigourn's modlist. Which are supposed to make the game harder, so I'm a bit confused now. Well, I guess you could say the magicka regen makes the game a bit easier, but I think it just removes the tediousness of doing a Mark/Divine Intervention/Restore Attributes/Recall cycle after battles in dungeons. But as I understand it the Bloodmond & Tribunal rebalanced mods will essentially scale down the combat difficulty of the expansions, so there won't be much challenge left in those either...
     
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  16. SausageInYourFace Codexian Sausage Patron

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    But why does it make the game better for you when there are restrictions in place to keep other players from playing however they want?
     
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  17. Rincewind Educated

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    Yeah if that's the case then it was kinda silly for them to provide a huge open world to explore with hundreds of caves/mines/tombs/ruins. You can reasonably expect gamers wanting to explore a large percentage of the map in one playthrough. Or say at least 30-40%. But I'm actually far from that, as I said, I have probably visited about 10% of the locations so far. In ELEX, for example, I visited like 90% of the map and I was only a little overpowered by the endgame.
     
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  18. Kainan Educated

    Kainan
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    You may have OCD or something. There is no way you didnt explore 80% of the map.
     
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  19. Rincewind Educated

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    I do have OCD. However, this map doesn't look 80% explored to me.

    I also stand corrected, I'm only at level 34. It still feels quite overpowered.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Funposter Arbiter

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    Sense of verisimilitude
     
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  21. xuerebx Augur

    xuerebx
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    What are you doing at Caius' house at level 34 hmm? :shittydog:
     
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  22. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    That depends, doesn't it?
    If the guilds, for example, are not at war, why wouldn't you be allowed to take higher-up positions in all of them if you have the skills?
    Cooperation between guilds (especially fighters / mages) just makes sense, given their specialties. Gaining the trust of one faction doesn't have to imply losing the trust of another, especially if the actions taken by quests do not negatively affect them.

    Now, political factions are a different beast, naturally.

    I would say that lore could indeed allow for some unlimited ranking between factions, while some factions would exclude others, etc.

    One thing that has always been silly is how you can advance to become the leader of a faction.
    Let's be real, being leader of any faction would just mean tons of management, recruitment, education, diplomacy and paperwork - not going out on adventures. Realistically, being the leader of any kind of faction would be more like playing The Guild than playing Skyrim.

    Meanwhile, in ES Oblivion+, you get "Hooray! You're the leader now! You don't have to do anything! Just continue dungeon delving." .... wtf.
     
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  23. Mud' Educated

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    It isn't this like one of the major flaws of Skyrim?
     
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  24. Sigourn Arcane

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    Yes, but because this is Morrowind people are perfectly fine with it.
    Last time I replayed the game I used mods that purposely gimped many OP mechanics and also others that made the game much harder. Still, by the time you are level 20 (and that was even with a mod that reduced my leveling speed by half) you can tackle almost anything, and by level 30 the game is a total joke.

    Truth is what kills Morrowind is that there's no hard level cap. The game should cap out at level 15 or something, with no chance to keep increasing your skills. This would also make it impossible to join that many factions, instead of the ones your character is naturally good at. Gold is very easy to come by in Morrowind, so whatever "gimp" there is regarding Minor and Misc skills doesn't matter when you can spam training.
     
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  25. Funposter Arbiter

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    you're playing modded, so just use MWSE Harder Barter. Pretty much entirely fixes the economy.
     
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