Was Morrowind really the best?

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None of the Elder Scrolls games are really the best, Morrowind is simply the one whose weaknesses are overlooked either because of nostalgia or the assumption that that was the way it was back in the day. In truth, it's no better or worse than Oblivion or Skyrim. All three are fine games and all three are different. Which is a good thing.
Oblivion I think is unfairly maligned for "trading the alien new setting in for the generic fantasy", never mind that Arena and Daggerfall had the EXACT SAME BRAND of generic fantasy as Oblivion and Oblivion was the return to roots. Also, Shivering Isles. The magic was an improvement upon Morrowind (no magicka regen and mana potions are rarer than Adamantium Armor? What?), combat system was a big improvement over Morrowind, the quest log was a vast improvement and the dialog system wasn't just a bunch of walls of boring text with hyperlinks and the character doesn't move slower than a snail on sleeping pills. Oblvion is overall more user friendly and user friendly is good because if the interface takes time to understand, it's not a good interface.
Skyrim, while improving upon Oblivion's story and combat, just wasn't my cup of tea. Perfectly fine good game, but not my thing.

My favorite thing about Morrowind was the lack of fast travel. Some people criticize it as being needless padding to draw-out the game time, but to me it just added to the atmosphere of the game. At no point could I rest comfortable in the knowledge that I can just open-up a map menu to travel to a city where I can rest. Nay, I had to walk. At best I could take the striders (or whatever they were called), but even then I had to walk TO the attendant; and not every city was located on a route. Some people call it tedious, I call it engaging. Getting into town after exploring a dungeon has whole new meaning when you know that it isn't just a menu away upon hitting the over-world.

At any rate, I think a lot of has to do with the fact that most people prefer the first Elderscrolls game they got into, and a LOT of people's first Elderscrolls was Morrowind. That said though, my first and favorite Elderscrolls game is Daggerfall. What it lacks in graphical capability, it makes-up for with an awesome campaign, and the most open-ended game world in the series. It's only drawback is that the game didn't really get a chance to utilize some of the mechanics that were built into it (there's little point to learn the different languages, and the etiquette system is pretty useless as well), leading to some abilities that were little more than clutter on the stat screen.

No, Morrowind wasn't the best, mechanically, if anything, it was one of the worst, only surpassed by Oblivion in being bad.

It was an action-adventure game with RPG elements that tried far to hard to be an RPG, despite that being contradictory to the action-adventure aspect, which resulting in massive headaches that caused no end of frustration to large amounts of players due to stuff like dice-roll hit chances in a first person game.

Its attribute stat deriving formulas were garbage, the +1/3/5 upgrade system forced railroad character development, the NPCs were nothing more then walking help desks with the EXACT same 50 copy-pastad dialog options, the only hting it did really well was the lore, which it kinda needed to do because it rebooted the series from generic D&D garbage of Arena/Daggerfall into quasi-hindu wheel dream metaphysics the series currently has now.

My understanding is that Morrowind is a good RPG, but a terrible action-RPG.
Make of that what you will.

Morrowind is fantastic from a lore perspective, you can customize your character in a lot of ways, it actually depends on your own ability to orientate instead of holding your hand, it has a more organic dialogue system than the descendant games that hit too many uncanny valley spots, your advancement in the factions actually demand that your character has competence in the operation of the organisations and the dark elf society in the game is very convincing.

The game is in general very thoughtful and consistent despite its technical limitations.

Morrowind is also a lot easier to mod than Oblivion and Skyrim.

Elberik:
Full disclosure, I have never played Morrowind. I have watched many lets-plays & read deep into the lore through wikis but I have never personally played the game.

Now assuming you still give a crap about my opinion:

Since the release of Skyrim many years ago, I have heard people say that they prefer Morrowind and that it was the best the series ever got. However, I notice that everyone who makes this claim 1)played Morrowind when they were younger and 2)heavily modded it or have since used mods during replays. I've never met someone who played Skyrim first, then played Morrowind (vanilla) for the first time and concluded that Morrowind was better.

I'm not saying that Morrowind wasn't a good game; just was there's a giant, pulsating asterisk next to it.

I played Oblivion first, then got Morrowind years later as well and played Skyrim a while after that. I would argue that with the exception of a few archaic game mechanics by today's standards (mostly to do with the combat), Morrowind was the better game compared to the two that followed. It had a more interesting world, the writing was better, it didn't hold your hand by spoon feeding where to find every single thing all of the time when doing quests, it didn't require playing a game with a handful of voice actors doing shitty voice work for hundreds of characters, and was just more interesting and enjoyable all around.

In fact, speaking of the writing, there's a much greater feel of Morrowind having an actual culture than the other games. Racism runs rampant, people will treat you differently based on what race you are. To a greater extent than games like Skyrim where you might get a comment as you're passing by but as soon as you talk to someone they're as friendly as anyone else. Somewhere along the lines Bethesda just stopped bothering to create a more realistic and interesting world in terms of interaction with characters, and I largely blame the fact that they're now paying people to read and record thousands of lines of dialogue.

If Morrowind were to be remade today and the only thing that changed was it got a graphical upgrade and better combat, it'd be the perfect Elder Scrolls game as far as I'm concerned. Shame that will never happen.

Elberik:
Since the release of Skyrim many years ago, I have heard people say that they prefer Morrowind and that it was the best the series ever got. However, I notice that everyone who makes this claim 1)played Morrowind when they were younger and 2)heavily modded it or have since used mods during replays. I've never met someone who played Skyrim first, then played Morrowind (vanilla) for the first time and concluded that Morrowind was better.

In fairness, just because someone modded Morrowind doesn't mean they're playing a fundamentally different game. Some of the most popular mods (MGE, Morrowind Code Patch, Unofficial Morrowind Patch) mostly just fix bugs or add quality of life improvements. Sure, some people like playing with mods that add new content or drastically change the way the game works, but that is by no means everyone.

OT: I feel Morrowind is the best Elder Scrolls game (at least, best modern Elder Scrolls game) because I feel with Oblivion Bethesda made a lot of changes without really considering how they impact the way the game works. I am hesitant to use the term 'dumbing down,' but I do feel these changes made the series far less interesting. For example:

Quest Markers: I'm guessing Bethesda implemented these to make their job easier, as they wouldn't have to re-record dialogue if they changed a quest around. The problem is, it turns quests into just following the arrow on your compass. Compare that to Morrowind, which had some quests that were tricky to solve, and had an overall more organic feel to the quest system. It may be more convenient in Skyrim, but it isn't as interesting.

Compass: I don't have a problem with the compass itself, but I do have a problem with the compass pointing out every notable thing in the vicinity. Bethesda probably thought that now players won't miss any of the stuff they worked so hard on, but it ruins the sense of discovery. Morrowind had some deviously hidden secrets that you could pass by a hundred times without knowing it, but the secrets you did discover made you feel awesome. That feeling is lost when every damn thing is pointed out to you.

Full Voice Acting: Yes, Morrowind did have a lot of repetitive dialogue. But it also had far more unique dialog than Oblivion and Skyrim, and this really helped flesh out the world and the people within it. I can see why Bethesda didn't want people reading many paragraphs of text whenever they talked to someone, but I don't have to like the change.

Fast Travel: Bethesda likely thought that the fast travel system in Daggerfall was really continent, so let's add it to our next game. Unfortunately, it turns travel into a joke. Instead of gradually figuring out new ways to get around the world, now you just teleport to wherever you want to go. It makes the world of Oblivion and Skyrim feel much smaller than Morrowind, even thought they are actually much larger. At least they added a more Morrowind-like fast travel system into Skyrim, but the travel system is still far more boring than in Morrowind.

Invincible NPCs: In Morrowind, whenever you killed a plot-essential NPC the game would provide a little warning message stating that you probably screwed yourself over. The system wasn't perfect, but it gave players a lot of freedom to play how they want without accidentally messing things up. In Skyrim and Oblivion, important NPCs are invincible. That is stupid. Now I've heard that the reason behind this is that in early versions of Oblivion, NPCs had a tendency to get themselves killed by wolves. But how hard could it be to make important NPCs invincible to damage from every source except the player? This one is just dumb. Really, really dumb.

TLDR: Bethesda made a lot of changes in Oblivion and Skyrim that made the games easier and less interesting.

I wouldn't say so, no. It's combat system amounted to running up and chopping at enemies repeatedly, magic was worthless, in combat anyway, treking all over the map on foot was boring, and don't get me started on the fucking cliff racers. That being said, the terrain the the culture was more varied than Oblivion and Skyrim. Skyrim, while a fun game to play, it still felt unnecessarily tacked on. Oblivion still feels to me like it should've been a series finale, after all the Oblivion Crisis dealt with the end of the world, how are you going to top that? Oh it's the end of the world again. And Alduin wasn't as interesting a world ending threat as Dagon. On top of all that Skyrim didn't even have an intro or ending cutscene where as Oblivion had and epic intro narrated by Captain Picard himself, Patrick Stewart.

I'm sorry but I wanna punch Morrowind's mechanics in the face.

First off, there was needing to walk everywhere in Morrowind, which would not have been so bad if:
1. I could place markers on a map to remind myself where to turn or something. The map being covered in a fog of war like blur when undiscovered was just a stupid annoyance but not showing cities was bad.
2. The game world had better landmarks. I could navigate nearly anywhere in Oblivion or Skyrim based on landmarks but the environments, while interesting, were soooo repetitive.
3. I didn't need to slog through a pile of journals to find my objective if I accidentally talked to people on the way and got quests. The journal system in Oblivion works because you could single out what you were doing and not have to shift through the same several pages just to get to the quest you're working on now when you opened it again.
4. Walking didn't take forever. I enjoy walking in Oblivion and Skyrim because its not a horrible plodding thing like it was in Morrowind. Yes I know you need to train it up but you would think that it would let you use your very limited running to outrun a mudcrab at the very least. Walking was just agony. No wonder everyone hopped everywhere.

Other mechanical failings were the spell failure system, making me waste magic. Fighting with weapons would have been more tactical and involved if it wasn't overridden by the a button on the menu saying "use best attack always". And the as mentioned before walls of text that is the dialogue system.

It is worth mentioning that I played Morrowind first out of all the Elder Scrolls games but it is my least favorite of the last three(have never played anything before Morrowind). I can't love it for its atmosphere if I can't see the world it wants me to be involved in.

I never got really in to the Elder Scrolls series before Skyrim and not for lack of trying. I tried to play Daggerfall, Morrowind and Oblivion. I never really got invested in any of them. The combat system in the first two was terrible and Oblivion left my staring from the other side of the uncanny valley with most characters seeming creepy.

Like I always say with these Bethesda games it's not really a matter of good/bad or right/wrong, but really it just comes down to a matter of personal preference. How close/far do you like 'content' spaced out, does fast travel annoy you or is it a necessity, do you need quest markers or do they annoy you, etc etc. Different people have different opinions on these things, and it will effect what you think about Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim.

Ultimately though, i think it comes down to a matter of CRPG vs WRPG. It used to be that an RPG on a console came from Japan - Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, Suikoden, etc, while companies like Bethesda and Bioware made 'CRPGs' for the PC - Balders Gate, Fallout 1+2, Daggerall, etc. But with Microsoft entering the console race, these games came with them, and you had new types of RPG's on the Xbox like Morrowind, Knights of the Old Republic, and Fable. By the time we got to the 360, these games were becoming the norm and had undergone full on 'consolization'. The console became the primary platform, complexity through little used features were streamlined out (in TES case look at spears or medium armour), and many player conveniences were added in. For fans of older PC RPG's Morrowind was designed more for them, while from Oblivion on the games were designed more for the mass market. In my opinion that's really where the line is drawn for 'which ones best'.

I can't really blame Bethesda here and they're still all great games... but what I will constantly criticize them on, between Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim some game mechanics were adjusted and the graphics got better, but they're essentially the same game. Even Fallout 3 fits in there, as 'Oblivion with guns'. Then look at CD Projekt, and compare The Witcher to The Witcher 2, and now the upcoming The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Massive game changing improvements for each iteration. So when is Bethesda going to step it up and give us something that's a clear evolution over Morrowind? Right now there games could be categorized sort of like FFVII-FFIX in terms of improvements, but I'm still waiting for a true 'next gen' jump like we saw from Daggerfall to Morrowind.

AntiChri5:
I don't know of any system that is better at keeping enemies relevant while not punishing the player needlessly for exploration.

(Mostly) Horizontal Progression is better with that.

A progression system where you get substantially stronger with each level, but your enemies level with you, is, ultimately, absurd. You level up, you get better stats, but it's just smokes and mirrors - in relative terms your power level always stays the same (give or take). And always comes with a big fat tail of balancing problems.

CloudAtlas:

AntiChri5:
I don't know of any system that is better at keeping enemies relevant while not punishing the player needlessly for exploration.

(Mostly) Horizontal Progression is better with that.

A progression system where you get substantially stronger with each level, but your enemies level with you, is, ultimately, absurd. You level up, you get better stats, but it's just smokes and mirrors - in relative terms your power level always stays the same (give or take). And always comes with a big fat tail of balancing problems.

As a side note, I remember hearing an idea about a sort of 'hybridized global leveling system' which is a cross between the classic "Low-Level, Medium-Level, High-Level" world map, and Oblivion/Skyrim's global leveling. Basically, everything levels with you, but certain regions always have easier enemies than others (So the forest of the giant bunnies always contains enemies which are a nuisance but not irrelevant, and the mountains of the pissed-off demon-skeletons always contains enemies that will crush you into a finely ground powder and sell you at a health-foods store if you arent alert and playing your best). Leveling in this case is non-trivial if done properly because it gives you more tools to overcome your opponents rather than just relying on having a better stat-stick.

CloudAtlas:

AntiChri5:
I don't know of any system that is better at keeping enemies relevant while not punishing the player needlessly for exploration.

(Mostly) Horizontal Progression is better with that.

A progression system where you get substantially stronger with each level, but your enemies level with you, is, ultimately, absurd. You level up, you get better stats, but it's just smokes and mirrors - in relative terms your power level always stays the same (give or take). And always comes with a big fat tail of balancing problems.

Most things that make a game good are absurd. But they are in it because working as a game is the most important thing for a game.

Could you elaborate on Horizontal Progression?

Going by the past-tense in the title, was the best, I think it might have been, yes. I don't know how long I spent on that game, but I know every character I made went through the main quest and both expansions pretty much without exception. Had a lot of fun and I would have recommended it.

Then years passed and I can't say those things anymore, the game aged like a dead house pet; great fun in it's day, and enough time has gone by that propping up the bones no longer comes with an acrid stench. Morrowind did not hold up at all for me when playing again after having played Oblivion, Skyrim not even existing at the time, and I say roughly the same thing with the newer game in the line. I do wish you could still go unarmed as well as you could in Oblivion, though.

Not going to go into lists of pros and cons, as that seems well taken care of here, just count me as another vote for "No, Morrowind is not the best Elder Scrolls," please.

In any case, it's not fair at all to compare a game so old to a game so new.

Not fair at all.

CloudAtlas:
A progression system where you get substantially stronger with each level, but your enemies level with you, is, ultimately, absurd.

While true, level scaling doesn't work like that.

Some enemies get stronger, but many stay as weak as they were before.

For instance, even at level 50 in Skyrim you will encounter the lower level Draugr, the normal/restless/wight, as the most common types. Whereas the stronger ones, such as scourge and deathlords, will make up a smaller percentage of the overall mix, and the boss type death Overlords will still only be in boss spawns at the very end of a level.

This is done specifically so that you aren't always facing nothing more then a horde of enemies equal to your level, so you can experience the feeling of having gotten better, since you can now kill the lower level version far faster/easier then before, while at the same time offering a good mix of ones at your level so it doesn't become boringly easy.

Oblivion worked the way you described, but EVERYONE hated that, which is why they changed it for Fallout 3 and to a greater extent Skyrim.

AntiChri5:

CloudAtlas:

AntiChri5:
I don't know of any system that is better at keeping enemies relevant while not punishing the player needlessly for exploration.

(Mostly) Horizontal Progression is better with that.

A progression system where you get substantially stronger with each level, but your enemies level with you, is, ultimately, absurd. You level up, you get better stats, but it's just smokes and mirrors - in relative terms your power level always stays the same (give or take). And always comes with a big fat tail of balancing problems.

Most things that make a game good are absurd. But they are in it because working as a game is the most important thing for a game.

Could you elaborate on Horizontal Progression?

Horizontal progressions basically just means that you get more options as you progress through the game - like more spells, or special attacks, but those options are not necessarily much stronger than those you already have. And your 'stats' don't improve every time you level up either. Or in the case of shooters, like Battlefield or Call of Duty, you unlock new weapons and gadgets as you gain ranks, but those weapons are just different than the ones you already have, not all around better.

The only disadvantage of this system is that the reward for levelling up (or however you exactly progress) is smaller - you don't become automatically better at everything, you just get more skill points to unlock new abilities or whatever. Even if this increase in power is (mostly) just an illusion, since your enemies level with you.

But if you use (mostly) horizontal progression, you don't need enemies that level with you and the balancing problems (and often absurdities) that entails, in MMOs you don't end up with dead, low level zones because everyone progressed beyond them, you don't a system in place that allows people with different amounts of time at their disposal to play together in a meaningful way (like up- or downscaling), which is something I think every MMO must have, and you end up with an all around more authentic world as well.

Let's not mince words: morowind suffered perhaps from some of the worst most game breaking bugs bethesda has ever put out. It's practicaly the game that invented "bethesda release" to signify a release full of bugs to an otherwise great game.
And I still think it's the best in the series. Sure it may not have been a pioneer, or bring massive improvments to the series. Sure, it may have had the smallest game world. Sure, it has aged and not in a good way.
But get past that, and you will find the last RPG of the Elder Scrolls series. You will find a game with actual heart, personality and immersion. A game that was unique in how it chose to treat it's players and in the wolrd it presented. Kind of like DS and DkS. I still play Morrowing and the KotOR series, because I love actual RPG's, and because they offer me powerfull hooks to get imersed.
By contrast Skyrim was and will allways remain for me a bad joke. This isn't an RPG, it's an action hack&slash from a first person perspective. I could never understand how much bethesda chose to streamline the game until console release came out. Then it all made sense. Let's move past the bland world, the north isn't that balnd, if only the dev bothered making it more like the Nord from GoT ... less green pastures and some more fucking tundra and glacial regions with mysterious architecture. Let's move past the story that is as generic as it gets (black dragon bad, go kill), if only the devs had the decency to make completing the story fun and not a checklist journey down allready marked paths and if only they would have focused on the Stormcloack vs Imperials conflict. Let's even move past the fucking graphics, ok? I can still play Ultima 4 and love it for it's story, and people today need to fucking get over themselves with how good games look. THEY WILL NEVER LOOK AS GOOD AS REAL LIFE. SO STOP TRYING, and maybe we could finaly start focusing on gameplay and story and not how many pixels we can get in the boobs of generic love interest nr who-gives-a-fuck. The reason Skyrim fails is imersion. I could never accept the game's terms of a world in danger and of the threats dragons pose when I was practicaly a gore machine that anihilated my first dragon in under a minute, and even fucking city guards could kill a dragon that was stupid enough to attack a city. I could never understand why they never fucking set cities on fire or maybe actualy make dragons tough to take ... instead of beeing almost one of the weakest foes in the game. AND FUCK WHOMEVER AT BETHESDA DECIDED IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEEA TO ALLOW THE PLAYER TO BE HEAD OF BASICALY EVERY SIDE FACTION IN THE GAME. Seriously, stop trying to stroke the ego of achievment freaks bethesda. YOu just totaly ruined whatever chance of imersion there was when you allowed me to basicaly become the reincarnation of Jeesus, Buda, Conan, the terminator and gandalf all rolled up in one body ... how the fuck should I even feel a threat in the world when dragons fall like flies and I basicaly became the master of the assasins, thieves, companions, the archmage ... At least go all out. You might have turned it around if you allowed us as dragon born to claim right to rule over the empire, north or both, seeing as the last true emperor was also the last of the dragonborn. But no ... I am this mighty Titan who is still suposed to be just a bloke who saves the north from alduin and gets ordered around by people ... fuck you.

Oh, and I see people complaining alot about walls of text ... riddle me this: 2-3 sentences voied by an obviously bored and inept actor, or several well crafted phrases that feel more like believable speech and allow your brain to mentaly add a voice fitting the character delivering them? Oh if only you poor ignorant kids would understand the beauty of imagination and would not have such contempt for reading. I blame the education system ...

I played modless skyrim first and then Morrowind with only Graphical overhaul 3.0 mod when it was done (so more or less vanilla?). I just really liked the whole detective part more. Finding out clues and reading the journal for where your quest objective is.

There was a lot more text and detailed info (of course, since no magical GPS marker for everything is available) and no horrible voice-acting.

I'm currently replaying Morrowind right now. While I've enjoyed both Oblivion and Skyrim, Morrowind is still the winner in my opinion.
If you haven't already seen this video about comparing Skyrim and Morrowind ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wujJnlsJh4 ) be sure to check it out.

Morrowind shitted me up a wall and back due to 2 things - enemies LOVED to damage stats as often as they could, which were a pain in the ass to restore when you were mid-dungeon and miles away from a capital city or temple. With the right enemy combination you could get your stats seriously low, which would always be painful if say, your strength was dropped and you were decked out in heavy armour.

Second - the god damn dice-roll combat. Yes, I know that's the age of the game and it was the thing at the time, but this shitted me off when I first started playing it. Somehow the Wood-Elf who is specialized in archery can't hit a stationary target 40% of the time because numbers? Yes, it got better as you leveled the stats up, the only problem was leveling the bloody stats since you only earnt experience when you hit enemies. I always ended up using cheats to max at least 1 combat stat at the start, just so I could avoid getting killed by sheer random chance.

As for which one is the 'best' - well, it's really just personal opinion more than any quantifiable measurement of 'best', right? Despite my hatred for Morrowind's pathetic excuse for combat and irritating mechanics carried over from DnD spreadsheets, it did have a rather enjoyable world, a deep atmosphere and an interesting story-line. I personally prefer Skyrim over it since - outside a few lack-luster questlines - I find Skyrim to have those same traits that Morrowind has, as well as a combat system worth a piece of piss and none of the shit-taking mechanics that fuck you over because you rolled a '2' when you needed a '4'.

At its time, Morrowind was better than Oblivion or Skyrim at their time.
However, Morrowind aged very badly. The lack of voice acting and clunky and old mechanics just doesn't make it a very good game for today's age. I don't expect Skyrim to age as badly and Oblivion really hasn't aged as badly either despite not being as good as the others at their time, although the Shivering Isles expansion is really good.

So near their release date, Morrowind was the best, Skyrim the second best and Oblivion the third best. Today, I'd say Skyrim is the best, second is Oblivion and third is Morrowind.

There is a reason why people always try to make Morrowind-mods for Oblivion/Skyrim. It was really very good and if they'd release a full Morrowind remake (including the same amount of freedom etc.) in the Skyrim enginge (with some tweaks to the combat system etc.), people would surely love it.

Elberik:
Since the release of Skyrim many years ago, I have heard people say that they prefer Morrowind and that it was the best the series ever got. However, I notice that everyone who makes this claim 1)played Morrowind when they were younger and 2)heavily modded it or have since used mods during replays. I've never met someone who played Skyrim first, then played Morrowind (vanilla) for the first time and concluded that Morrowind was better.

I'm not saying that Morrowind wasn't a good game; just was there's a giant, pulsating asterisk next to it.

Nah. I still play the unmodded 'vanilla' version of Morrowind to this day, and vastly prefer it to the other titles of the series - and before I'm accused of having nostalgia goggles for my first TES game please let me point out that my first TES game was Daggerfall.

I think seaweed summed up the good points rather nicely. The game wasn't flawless, but the depth and scope of it was such that the small things didn't really matter. I didn't even mind the combat system - as a tabletop RPG player I'm perfectly fine with letting a combination of stats and an RNG decide the outcome of battle.

Also this:

lax4life:

It comes down to something very simple.

Your first TES game is always the best.

I started off with Oblivion and while I agree that many of the technical aspects of Skyrim are much, much better. I like the world and the character/personality of Oblivion. OB is fun, colorful and somewhat silly while SK is bland, desaturated and super serious.

My fiancee's first TES was Skyrim and she can't understand why I do not have all the love for the game as she does, just as my friends cannot understand why I love Oblivion the most.

Honestly I never really "got" why people loved Morrowind so much. I finished it in 130 hours and after running around having everyone hail me as the saviour for a while, I stopped.

Compare that to Skyrim, which I pumped ~250 hours into and barely got out of Mournhold. You see a mountain in the distance? Cool, you can run over and climb up it.

Aesthetically Skyrim is far more pleasing, with glittering snowy fields and mountains replacing the endless sandstorm-swept muddy swamps.

Above all tho, magic and HtH, while broken at high levels, were completely useless at lower levels in Morrowind.

Oh, you want to be a magician? Cool - just cast Spark like 500 times until you can actually do it without failing all the time. And oh yeah your mana doesn't come back when you sleep so it's a limited resource. Then you can try some other spell and cast that one 500 times until you un-suck enough not to die every time you use it in combat.

HtH was useless, too. Sure at higher levels you could practically one-shot KO people, but you had to select it like a weapon so it didn't free up your hands for magic (or anything else). Not to mention that at no point in the game is it ever more effective in combat than, say, an axe (stuns half the time even when you suck at it? Sign me up). Or a sword. Or hell even a dagger. In the time it takes to make HtH not suck (and I levelled it to the top), you could level up two or three more useful weapons.

Or maybe cast one spell kinda okay.

TES always had great lore, and Skyrim doesn't really add that much more to the existing corpus (which I quite like, actually, there's something nostalgic about finding a copy of The Argonian Maid in a bandit's hut), but I don't know how much of that existed before Morrowind either - how many of those books were on the shelves in Daggerfall?

I quite liked the slightly complicated relationship with Vivec, that seems more interesting to me than "Oh look, a dragon! Dragons are bad".

But honestly I preferred the tighter and more immersive world of something like Gothic, even if the graphics weren't as pretty. At least you didn't have loading screens every time you entered a house. But that's a whole other kettle of fish, and not one I want to focus on here.

ExileNZ:
TES always had great lore, and Skyrim doesn't really add that much more to the existing corpus (which I quite like, actually, there's something nostalgic about finding a copy of The Argonian Maid in a bandit's hut), but I don't know how much of that existed before Morrowind either - how many of those books were on the shelves in Daggerfall?

As memory serves, of the ~300 books in Morrowind only 15 - 20 existed in Daggerfall. The addition made by the Morrowind writers to existing TES lore was huge.

I've played Skyrim first and all I can say is I really hope Morrowind is better because I became bored of Skyrim really quickly. I see a lot of people say that Skyrims combat is better than the rest, but it's not great at all, in any way. In fact, I managed to break the game several times and just found it tedious over and over, including it repeats Everything over and over.

Didn't think much of Oblivion either.

Grouchy Imp:

ExileNZ:
TES always had great lore, and Skyrim doesn't really add that much more to the existing corpus (which I quite like, actually, there's something nostalgic about finding a copy of The Argonian Maid in a bandit's hut), but I don't know how much of that existed before Morrowind either - how many of those books were on the shelves in Daggerfall?

As memory serves, of the ~300 books in Morrowind only 15 - 20 existed in Daggerfall. The addition made by the Morrowind writers to existing TES lore was huge.

Thanks for filling me in :)

I got an e-book compilation a few years back, there were about 600 documents but that included every scrap of paper, including the assassin's note. At any rate, the majority of the TES lore seems to have come from Morrowind then. I remember being wowed at the ability to pick up every book on a shelf.

regalphantom:

CloudAtlas:

AntiChri5:
I don't know of any system that is better at keeping enemies relevant while not punishing the player needlessly for exploration.

(Mostly) Horizontal Progression is better with that.

A progression system where you get substantially stronger with each level, but your enemies level with you, is, ultimately, absurd. You level up, you get better stats, but it's just smokes and mirrors - in relative terms your power level always stays the same (give or take). And always comes with a big fat tail of balancing problems.

As a side note, I remember hearing an idea about a sort of 'hybridized global leveling system' which is a cross between the classic "Low-Level, Medium-Level, High-Level" world map, and Oblivion/Skyrim's global leveling. Basically, everything levels with you, but certain regions always have easier enemies than others (So the forest of the giant bunnies always contains enemies which are a nuisance but not irrelevant, and the mountains of the pissed-off demon-skeletons always contains enemies that will crush you into a finely ground powder and sell you at a health-foods store if you arent alert and playing your best). Leveling in this case is non-trivial if done properly because it gives you more tools to overcome your opponents rather than just relying on having a better stat-stick.

I think SkyRe already does this for Skyrim.

As for the OT, I would say Skyrim is my favorite ES game, period. The reason for that is fairly simple: Arena and Daggerfal were before my time, Morrowind was fun but ultimately unsatisfying (mostly because my English was pretty basic when I first played it, so a lot of the lore flew over my head) and I felt it was waaaaaay to clunky even back in the day while Oblivion was just plain ugly and it just never really sucked me in.

Skyrim, on the other hand, hits all of my sweet spots. It's unrestricted, intuitive, fun while also having a veritable ton of lore to back it up and, while certain aspects of it were underwhelming (the main quest felt meh, the civil war was gutted compared how it could have been and they gave the players just enough context to make them feel like what they did mattered but then never delivered on their deeds actually mattering), but at the end of the day I am always ready to jump into Skyrim even today and to try out new and fun mods for it, while Morrowind and Oblivion were nothing but one-playthrough wonders that have been sitting on my shelves untouched for years after the first playthrough.

As I always say in these threads, Morrowind is pretty much the definition of a nostalgia game. It's really immersive and interesting and probably has the strongest "exploration" element of any of the Elder Scrolls games which all leaves a very good impression in the memory, until you try to play it again and remember that it also has some of the most non-sensically stupid design decisions in human history.

So, get this.. magicka doesn't regenerate, but magic items regenerate just fine!

So, you want to play a mage character? What's that you want to cast spells! Well, I hope you like sleeping my friend because you'll be roleplaying the most severe narcoleptic in history. Meanwhile, I levelled two whole skills (enchantment and alchemy) and stacked intelligence potions to make a pair of socks which kill everything in the game, but you go right ahead.. have fun being a wizard! I'm off to sell stuff at profit to a talking mudcrab until I can train a non-class skill exactly 10 times! Bye!

Nazulu:
I've played Skyrim first and all I can say is I really hope Morrowind is better because I became bored of Skyrim really quickly. I see a lot of people say that Skyrims combat is better than the rest, but it's not great at all, in any way. In fact, I managed to break the game several times and just found it tedious over and over, including it repeats Everything over and over.

Didn't think much of Oblivion either.

The combat is worse in Morrowind and Oblivion but the games are better in other regards. You shouldn't be playing an Elder Scrolls game for the combat you won't enjoy yourself they are more about exploration then anything else. If you can get over the problems they are great games but the issues are always there.

lord.jeff:

Nazulu:
I've played Skyrim first and all I can say is I really hope Morrowind is better because I became bored of Skyrim really quickly. I see a lot of people say that Skyrims combat is better than the rest, but it's not great at all, in any way. In fact, I managed to break the game several times and just found it tedious over and over, including it repeats Everything over and over.

Didn't think much of Oblivion either.

The combat is worse in Morrowind and Oblivion but the games are better in other regards. You shouldn't be playing an Elder Scrolls game for the combat you won't enjoy yourself they are more about exploration then anything else. If you can get over the problems they are great games but the issues are always there.

I said I played Oblivion. And the reason I brought up the combat is because a lot of people prefer Skyrim for it's improvements.

But thank you any way. From what I've heard about Morrowind, it seems to be more detailed in smaller segments. I will eventually play it because I've been surprised many times from classic games, some showing special quality's I just don't see these days.

ExileNZ:

Grouchy Imp:

ExileNZ:
TES always had great lore, and Skyrim doesn't really add that much more to the existing corpus (which I quite like, actually, there's something nostalgic about finding a copy of The Argonian Maid in a bandit's hut), but I don't know how much of that existed before Morrowind either - how many of those books were on the shelves in Daggerfall?

As memory serves, of the ~300 books in Morrowind only 15 - 20 existed in Daggerfall. The addition made by the Morrowind writers to existing TES lore was huge.

Thanks for filling me in :)

I got an e-book compilation a few years back, there were about 600 documents but that included every scrap of paper, including the assassin's note. At any rate, the majority of the TES lore seems to have come from Morrowind then. I remember being wowed at the ability to pick up every book on a shelf.

No problem. I was a bit of a book-hound when I first picked up Morrowind myself, sometimes spending hours of gameplay just reading in bookshops looking for the odd book that would hint towards local treasures (eg: the Heran Ancestral Tomb mentioned in Chance's Folly or the tomb mentioned in Hanin's Wake).

Grouchy Imp:

No problem. I was a bit of a book-hound when I first picked up Morrowind myself, sometimes spending hours of gameplay just reading in bookshops looking for the odd book that would hint towards local treasures (eg: the Heran Ancestral Tomb mentioned in Chance's Folly or the tomb mentioned in Hanin's Wake).

Back then I used to have a job that required a lot of sitting and waiting in between insane bursts of activity, so I nabbed myself all the Morrowind books and just read them at my desk. Good times...

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