Was Morrowind really the best?

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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...

WhiteTigerShiro:
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.

I feel that the fact that you can fast travel in Skyrim is not a valid complaint against the game. I recently started another playthrough of Skyrim where I can't use potions in combat, have to feed my character, sleep regularly, and walk everywhere I want to go (meaning no fast travel). The exception is I can use the carriages and boats outside major cities, which I think is similar to the silt striders in Morrowind. I have downloaded mods, but none of them enforce these conditions I've set for myself.

This is why I think having fast travel is good in Skyrim, it's entirely optional. On some characters, I will fast travel where I need to go. But on others, like my most recent one, I find it much more fun to walk. And the game doesn't force you into one way of playing or the other. You can play the same way you do in Morrowind. Well, mostly. I do wish you didn't have to rely on quest markers to find out where you need to go.

The Goat Tsar:
Well, mostly. I do wish you didn't have to rely on quest markers to find out where you need to go.

You can disable the quest markers in your journal (options menu).

Elberik:

The Goat Tsar:
Well, mostly. I do wish you didn't have to rely on quest markers to find out where you need to go.

You can disable the quest markers in your journal (options menu).

Yeah, but for a lot of quests, they don't give you directions for where to go, so if you turn them off you may not have any idea where to go. I would've preferred a quest log with directions as well as the optional quest markers.

Yes, objectively so in fact. In Skyrim, despite all the rascism, any character can do anything.

No skill in magic... Let's put you in charge of magic collage!
Same race as the Thalmer, who are hated... We'll be the best of friends!
And so on.

Then there's the dungeons, AKA have yet another fucking Draugr. And the enviroment itself isn't exactly the most interesting. And this isn't even getting into the Dragons, who despite being the most "terrifying" thing in Skyrim are easily beaten by guards and mudcrabs.

Meanwhile, in Oblivion, the enviroment is dull, the story is ultra-simple, yet it's still full of plot holes (apparently Fallout 3 is massive improvement). While the Shivering Isles does do some favours, it still misses the mark completely.

As for the combat, it's shit, none of them have less shit combat, but in Morrowind, the stuff outside the combat is infinitely better. It doesn't help that Oblivion and Skyrim are less stable then a crippled drunk carrying a fucking hospital. While Morrowind has always been buggy, I can't seem to go five steps without Oblivion or Skyrim crashing.

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.

As shallow as this is GUARANTEED to sound, by today's standards Morrowind is complete and utter crap, the graphics are ugly as sin, the random dice roll hit system is a failure until your skill level is beyond amazing and the game lets you EASILY lock yourself out of entire quest lines by not forcing you to let important NPCs live, seriously if you do things the wrong way you can't even complete the main story.

However, that aside . . . the freedom it offered players is nothing less than mouth shuttingly astounding. It had a PSYCHOTIC level of depth to it's world and it's lore, as well as it's NPCs (despite the lack of voiced dialogue) and if you could get around the questlines talking in circles and being vague at best about objectives it's story started to show signs of true genius. There was honestly so much depth to the world that it's hard to define it to you without saying to just read the entire wiki. Cross family politics, Necromancers in the mages guild, questionable nobles that might be Daedra worshipers or even a Daedra themselves, the Imperial cult, the . . . . well everything! Not to mention the harshness of magic. I know the way the system worked punished players that wanted to use magic, but going into it how the game seems to want you to (all melee and arrows all the time) it gave you a decent idea of what it was like to be a "normal" adventurer in that world (something the games are quick to tell you is a common trade, Fighter's guild anyone?) you can kill some monsters here and there but Mages will DE-FUCKING-STROY you. It gives you the feeling that even if you're the "chosen one" you still have to earn your prophetic station, and they tell you as well (if you look in the lore) that other "chosen ones" have come and gone, sometimes false ones (Mythic Dawn anyone?).

For me the quality of Morrowind and how it stacks up against the other TES games is a bit difficult to pin down since what it does well it excels at but what it does poorly is so awful I'm reluctant to recommend it to anyone other than someone who is already a fan of the series and wants to get a feel for how the series has evolved over the years.

On the one hand it adds an insane amount of lore, has a massive map, large towns each have a fairly distinct look, has a very good variety of weapons and armor, more characters that seem a bit nutty even if they aren't deadra worshipers, Some of the more otherworldly looking non-plane-of-oblivion environments in the series, Spell making while not always practical can be fun to play around with, and decisions have long lasting consequences far more so than Oblivion and Skyrim.

On the other hand chances of hitting enemies are slim to none if you don't level up that weapon skill which levels through successfully hitting enemies, spell failure still uses MP IIRC and MP doesn't regen without potions praying or resting which makes it a potential death sentence for a mage, and fast traveling is a freakin' nightmare (lets see... I'll take the stilt strider there, then use mages guild transportation, then I'll take a boat... screw it, it might be faster to walk) which wouldn't be an issue if the player character didn't move like it was smuggling fifty pounds of concrete up it's rear.

I will say this though, It brought a lot of things to the series that made TES series a lot richer and colorful than it would be otherwise so I enjoy and respect it based on that alone.

Morrowind was my favorite by quite a bit. The engine has aged a lot though. I would love to have Skyrims weapon/shield skills mixed in with the systems from Morrowind. I loved making my own spells, enchanting my own gear. Carry a ring to summon a bow and one for a sword in case gear breaks. Constant effect regen for stamina so you can run non stop. I wish they would get back to that a bit more

The Goat Tsar:

WhiteTigerShiro:
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.

I feel that the fact that you can fast travel in Skyrim is not a valid complaint against the game. I recently started another playthrough of Skyrim where I can't use potions in combat, have to feed my character, sleep regularly, and walk everywhere I want to go (meaning no fast travel). The exception is I can use the carriages and boats outside major cities, which I think is similar to the silt striders in Morrowind. I have downloaded mods, but none of them enforce these conditions I've set for myself.

This is why I think having fast travel is good in Skyrim, it's entirely optional. On some characters, I will fast travel where I need to go. But on others, like my most recent one, I find it much more fun to walk. And the game doesn't force you into one way of playing or the other. You can play the same way you do in Morrowind. Well, mostly. I do wish you didn't have to rely on quest markers to find out where you need to go.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily saying that fast travel is bad. In fact, my favorite game in the series is one in which fast travel is basically required. I was just saying that it affords a certain level of comfort, and the lack of said comfort is part of what I like about Morrowind.

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.

Skyrim is better than Morrowind in some ways. And probably Oblivion too. But Oblivion did do some things better than Skyrim. I think nostalgia helps people like Morrowind better. Of all of the Elder Scroll games, I remember (for the times) being most impressed with it because it was a game that stood out visually and was some sweet eye candy back then, as was the big open 3D world.

The biggest disappoint for me in Skyrim is how they neutered Mages. You used to be able to make your own spells and that was awesome and fun to experiment with.

Daggerfall hasn't aged well, but the world is freaking huge and the sheer number of locations is crazy. All the random dungeons scattered about was pretty cool. And my dude once got turned into a Wereboar, that was different. And a Vampire dude I encountered was a real badass, not some random speedbump to be casually rolled over like they have been since.

I've played them all, and each has their charms and things that made them better than the others. Judging them as if they were new.. I'd still say overall Skyrim is the best, but not dominantly so. And to be honest, while all fine games to be sure, they wouldn't rate nearly as high on my most liked games if it weren't for the mods.

Elberik:

The Goat Tsar:
Well, mostly. I do wish you didn't have to rely on quest markers to find out where you need to go.

You can disable the quest markers in your journal (options menu).

Well, you can also only play the game using a mouse on a PC. It's not particularly good but it's possible. What's your point?

I'm going to re-post this again in this thread

lax4life:

If you do remove the quest markers in Skyrim, you do actually get an entry in your quest log. Unfortunately, most of the times they'd amount to "I must bring the documents to Caius Cossades". Where he is or how to even find him would be a mystery for the ages. Sure, that tracking spell can work (assuming for a moment, it's not the giant glowing arrow that it is) but you would still have no idea where he is - if the spell points you to the left - is he in this town, or not? If not in this one - which one, for the spell would not make it even remotely apparent, inless it tells you to go east outside of this settlement, and there is only one settlement in that direction. If you knew where on the map your objective is, it would make it massively easier to plan your route. And it would mean, you only need to use the spell when you get to the settlement. However, that's often not the case. Moreover, you often get objectives that are leading you to some caves/forts/stuff somewhere on the map. Even if they give you the name of the place, it's not easy to find, if possible at all. The NPCs give, like, fuck all amount of help too - you can't ask them where something is.

So yes, you could disable the markers, that doesn't mean you don't have to rely on them, though.

DoPo:
The NPCs give, like, fuck all amount of help too - you can't ask them where something is.

Given that you have a map in your hands, and they just pointed to the place they need you to go, asking for directions would be rather redundant and illogical.

Quest markers exist because journal entries in a game where you have a map make no sense, since anyone would just say "point where it is" and have them point it out.

However, since its difficult, if not outright impossible, to have NPCs actually point out the location on your map directly without having the game hijack you and force open the map and highlight the area, they just give you a quest marker. Not to mention it would be difficult for the player to remember every place pointed out for them if you are doing multiple quests, even if the character could remember them all.

Morrowind only had journal entries because the graphics were so bad the map couldn't show anything, and was just forced to sort of run with the illogical nature of them.

While I do agree that the map marker should go away once you get to the location, instead of always being fixed on the item inside the chest at the very end, since that's overly hand-holdy, the lack of asking for directions is simply because it makes NO SENSE TO ASK FOR THEM in the first place, since you have a map, and they pointed out where you need to go.

Asking for directions when you already have it pointed out on your map is like commander Shepard asking what a mass effect field is despite living in a world with them his entire life.

Having played all TES games since Daggerfall I personally think each game has it's own charm, but Skyrim has the most.

Daggerfall - well I was a child then and honestly remember very little of the game other than finding it fun.

Morrowind - First game where I really got immersed in the world, discovered role playing (despite not even realizing I totally RP'd that game). Bunch of good customization options, some things (like magic crafting) was too advanced for (at the time) little me to really get into, bunch of walking around on foot and directions lost somewhere in the journal, and the combat kinda sucked. But the world, the exploration, the guilds, all the gear you could mix and match! Great game, awful combat.

Oblivion - It was alright, level scaling was horrible, but I finished it and all the guild quests while remaining entertained. Voice acting made the world feel more alive, but people looked like bloated babies and a lot of people sounded alike. And Sean Bean dies (Seriously, that surprised you?). I mean the game starts with captain Picard saying something like "Today I will die",so I assume you where surprised by that death too then? Unless you didn't know who Sean Bean was at the time, then you are forgiven and may let go of your guilt - and get back to sexual deviancy once more. Oh, don't give me that look, we both know you like some kinky shit - and that's fine.

Skyrim - First thing I did was turn of those damn quest markers and set the difficulty to Master. Then I roamed around until I got to OP, restarted. Repeat. I love it for the relaxation it provides. It's like playing in the woods around where I grew up, but with more dragons, mountains, adventure, few guards with Swedish dialects.

It's also the best looking, best feeling and familiar in a "home but more fun" kind of way - and I love it. I've probably sunk like 600 hours into the Xbox 360 version and 500 in a seriously modded PC version (got it on a sale for like 10$ including all DLC). And with mods Dragons finally fucking murder everything and pick their remains out of their teeth with mudcrabs (Unofficial patches, Deadly Dragons, Dragon Combat Overhaul, Frostfall and Realistic Needs and Disease pretty much fixes the game and adds a bunch of immersion).

That's why Skyrim is my favorite, not because it has the best story (Morrowind did), scarier dungeons (Morrowind did), actually forces you to think and trusts you're of average or above intelligence (Morrowind does)... see a theme here?

Skyrim = awesome, despite the many immersion breakers and the (mostly) outright stupid - and short - guild questlines. I mean the companions one is alright, but far too short. So when

dies... well who really gave even half a fuck? The guy had said like 10 lines to you over 5 minutes of gameplay, at the most. I cared more about Brenuin the town beggar/drunk than him.

I mean that guy took my 1 gold bribe - that buys him absolutely nothing - and gave me +10 speech.

had a nice beard and made me 3 times, as well as - neither which gave me any money. The same goes for the - Oh noes, some dude of no use that I've barley had contact with is dead... and I care, why? Why can't I him?

And the thieves guild... so full of "I'll just shut of my brain and fetch what I'm told to fetch" instead of proper stealing and heists. Topped of by

about as discrete as an firing an M60 in a kindergarten during nap-time.

Haven't really played all assassin so I can't say if the DB one is any good. Main quest's fun, but I haven't actually killed

yet, too busy doing other stuff or starting new characters to bother flying of to beat him a second time :P

So yeah, Morrowind might just be the best at much but, for me, nothing beats the general feeling and atmosphere of Skyrim - despite strange, poorly paced or outright stupid quest design. I might give Skywind a go, if it's ever completed, but for now I'll just keep playing Skyrim to relax and have some mindless people/dragon/animal killing fun.

Good morning!

SajuukKhar:
Asking for directions when you already have it pointed out on your map is like commander Shepard asking what a mass effect field is despite living in a world with them his entire life.

However, when nobody goes "Oh, that place - it's just <direction> of [something notable, like a settlement], here let me show it on your map". Not even in the journal entry being "I need to find X near Y", then turning off quest markers is not quite useful. Instead they say the same thing but without the italics.

Everything is far more streamlined and refined in Skyrim, the combat system is second to none in an RPG. I agree with how they took certain fairly needless skills out and how they removed the stats system that was present in Morrowind.

However, I'd certainly say that Morrowind was the most atmospheric of all the games, it also did not hold your hand in any way. Enemies were not leveled to you - if you went into a dungeon that was filled with Dwemer Spheres without being prepared, you will die. That also meant that you could get some real high level equipment from the very start if you knew what you were doing. I hated it in Oblivion when you reach a certain level and all the bandits were in Ebony armour; just the cuirass in Ebony was worth more than a house.

You could kill people who were essential to the storyline and it would tell you "the thread of prophecy is severed" but it wouldn't stop you continuing.

I wouldn't say its the greatest in the series, but it certainly is the most immersive. Oh! and the music, just listen to the title theme on youtube and tell me it isn't something special.

*edit* also love the lack of quest markers: when you actually have to follow written instructions and look for landmarks. I always expected myself to get lost, yet I never did.

As much as I love Skyrim (and I do love it, I find it easier to just pick up and play too) its quest-lines were utter wank, they were extremely short (I recall completing the Companions in just under 2 hours) now I do get that you have an unlimited amount of repeatable quests, but that is hardly worth it, it also did rely too much on quest-markers, which is fine for some cases, but turning it off just made you lost and confused, the journals of Morrowind made you have to find your way around, need to talk to a dude in Khuul? Where is that? Dunno, ask around, learn its north of Gnisis and you can grab a boat there, I enjoyed that a lot, the journal had a use outside of getting ticked every now and then.

Personally, I think vanilla Morrowind is fantastic and I personally dislike the overhaul (makes everything look too artificial) and while the combat has its exceedingly vocal haters (and I know why they hate it) I never had trouble with it and it actually made combat more interesting for me (for example, it made restore fatigue potions not completely useless, since fatigue was necessary to hit something)

I also vastly preferred the dungeon crawling, I could walk into a cave and find it full of drug dealers, kill them and sell the drugs, but you can only sell them to specific buyers, haggle the price up and make a killing then sell the booze and hides to more honest merchants. I could wander into a ruin and find a legendary artifact I read about in that Tamrielic Lore book, nothing leveled either, so I could find these casually strolling around the countryside at a low level, not just part of a questline.

Overall, while Morrowind has aged and people coming from the newer games will likely have trouble adjusting, I think Morrowind holds up fine and it is definitely my favorite, I played it recently after buying the collection and I felt the same glee I did when I first played it, only this time I wasn't so lost.

EDIT: I also liked how despite you having less clear cut directions to go, you never got lost if you paid attention, I remember I used to just buy passage to Balmora, but I decided to walk it this time around from Seyda Neen, I wound up in Pelagiad after an encounter with a bandit, I killed some smugglers in a cave, inquired about a bowl I found and was given the vague directions to give to bowl to a women east of town, did that after a bit of searching and made my way to Balmora, found a fort where I repaired my gear and finally reached town, all without a marker.

Morrowind trumps Skyrim in everything but graphics.

More intuitive and player guided character leveling? Morrowind

A setting that was designed in order to break fantasy games away from boring repetetive "realistic" fantasy environments? Morrowind

Length in ALL quest lines? Morrowind.

Amount of spells, weapons, skills and quests, altogether? Morrowind. ("Infinite" quests of Skyrim notwithstanding.)

Pretty graphics? Skyrim.

Gameplay that went deeper than W+M1? Morrowind.

Let's face it, you prefer Skyrim to Morrowind? You're a graphics whore.

Here's the reason I still think Morrowind is the crowning piece of the series.

Skyrim does more things better, but everything Skyrim does other games yet do even better (although without the things Skyrim does worse).

Morrowind does fewer things better, but those it does do better you rarely see in other games and never really of that level of quality.

Just the world of Morrowind, the simple sense that it was it's own real world. You could get lost like you simply can't in Skyrim or any other game. You could explore and actually discover things even if you don't have the correct prerequisite quests. The factions you could join actually interacted and doing certain things had real consequences preventing you from other paths.

And it's easily seen in the modding efforts. Compare the efforts of Skywind (Morrowind in Skyrim's engine) vs the efforts of Skyblivion (Oblivion in Skyrim's engine), the difference is immense.

And I can guarantee that when TES6 comes out the first major project of that kind will start with Morrowind. It won't be Oblivion, it won't be Skyrim. Because when it comes down to those few qualities that truly define the Elder Scrolls Morrowind still reigns supreme.

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