I was going to post about how I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed lately, but this is an Elder Scrolls blog, and what have I posted about the Elder Scrolls? Wait, you guessed “Nothing”? You’re correct, but this isn’t a game show, so there’s no prize.
I just want to discuss a game that I’ve had my love renewed in. Morrowind. The hype over Skyrim and its DLC and the Skyrim cleanup projects on the wiki have really taken away from the focus on the older games for me, and I’ve spent… A lot… Alright, very little time focusing on Skyrim, but that little time I had wasn’t on what I loved. Jeancey’s Morrowind Overhaul Project and the influx of editors working to overhaul the namespace and bring it to standard has lead me to look at Morrowind again, and in new light.
It’s a simply amazing game. It’s got its weaknesses, such as the hit chance, which was irritating when you’re so close you’re clipping, yet you can’t do damage, but overall the games amazing. It feels to me, and this is solely my opinion, that the game is still better than its successors.
For one, I completely love the land. It’s unique, compared to the pretty, yet stereotypically fantastical setting. In Morrowind and Skyrim, you can travel around with a vague idea of what’s out there… Sabretooth cats in the mountains, deer in the planes, and so on. There are of course fantasy characters who vary it up, but overall, it’s a rather normal landscape, compared to the mountainous ashlands of Vvardenfell, where none of those creatures could possibly survive.
For ruins, we’ve got Dwemer, Daedric, Dunmer strongholds, and in Bloodmoon, barrows, in addition to ancestral tombs of the Dunmer. What’s Oblivion give? Ayleid ruins, abandoned forts, and caves. Skyrim? Nordic ruins, Dwemer ruins, and barrows. The ruins in each of these are typically bandit occupied, save for the automatons of the Dwemer ruins.
The Ayleid ruins of Oblivion were unique and interesting in appearance, but the rest felt fairly safe, in my opinion, as in, unlike Morrowind, it didn’t feel dangerous to be in them (though that’s mostly attributed to the leveling system). In Morrowind, of which I am a nearly five year veteran, I still hold a certain apprehension when it comes to discovering ruins. I don’t know if some strange Daedric creature or a Dwemer sphere will come out and jump me, or if an Orc in heavy armor will be waiting with a claymore to eviscerate me.
Guilds and quests… This one, I need to consult the wiki over, since it’s fact, and not opinion, so hold on…
OK, I’m back! :p
I am counting a dozen factions that could be joined:
Great Houses Hlaalu, Redoran, and Telvanni, Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Thieves Guild, Imperial Cult, the Tribunal Temple, and Imperial Legion, East Empire Company (if Bloodmoon is installed), and the Morag Tong.
We have significantly less in Oblivion: The Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Thieves Guild, DArk Brotherhood, and Arena.
Skyrim… Companions, College of Winterhold, Thieves, Brotherhood, Bards (I don’t count it since it’s only two quests), and the Civil War, where you can be a Stormcloak or Imperial Soldier.
Morrowind feels more… Alive, I guess. There are so many factions to interact with, and the politics of each held region is evident when you interact with the residents of the towns. The quests of each aren’t perfect, by any means, since I prefer a story driven guildline over questing with only the loosest of stories, and in that aspect the newer games win me over.
I’m going to two part this… I can write a novella about this, and in fact I might, if I remember to, go on about the game mechanics, which I’ll throw out, are bloody amazing in the newer games. I just feel that the new, improved game mechanics come at a loss to story, since so much time has to be spent working on making them cutting edge amazing… But, that’s a highly opinionated post for another day.