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TechnoGoth

Morrowind what made it good or bad?

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A lot of people consider morrowind one the best RPGs to come out in a long while, and other like myself find it one of the worst game they've played. So my question to people in both camps is what aspects of the game design made it good or bad?

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From what I remember:

Good:

Character generation was fairly detailed, a little innovative, and pretty balanced.
World was large, explorable.
Story was interesting.
Crafting was neat.

Bad:

Much of the world was not interesting.
Combat was tedious, bland.
Foraging is tedious, bland.
Much of the world was 'empty', a big world is nice, but who cares if it's only populated by a few hundred people?
Many of the quests were repetative, unintesting fetch/kill quests.


I remember thinking that Morrowind was a quite respectable MMORPG; except that it was single player, and everything seemed barren and lifeless without the people.

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Before I lay down the negative points, know that I loved the game. Would play it to this day if my xbox didn't break down.

A lot of the world looked realy ugly, and depressing. It gets old after a while.

The classes were a moot point, because everyone ended up the same about 8 hours in.

The combat was god awful.

All the NPCs had nothing to do except stand around in the same place and tell you the same paragraph of text for the 1500th time.

You never really effect anything. Whatever you do, no matter how big or small, results in a paragraph of text, and then zero recognition in the actual game, even beating the game. You get a paragraph of text, and things continue. At one point, I was the leader of 2 world super powers and nothing changed. Well, I got some strongholds out in the middle of nowhere that were useless.

That's the biggest failing of morrowind IMO, the fact that nothing you ever did mattered.

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The best things about it for me were its open-endedness and nonlinearity, as well as the many choices of character types to play. It had great replayability because you could go through as a member of three different houses, or as a member of two different religions, plus multiple guilds with conflicing interests. The character creation system was also very open and customizable, rather than only offering set classes. Also, it had hours and hours of playtime if you liked exploring every little bit of the world, though, granted, some of it was boring. Also, I really like the lore and setting of the Elder Scrolls; it's d&dish, but has a lot of unique elements that set it apart from most fantasy clones. Also, the Construction Set and the mods are a huge plus; the only other RPG i've seen with a decent construction set and an active mod community is NWN. Plus, it had much better graphics than most RPGs do, which tend to lag far behind FPS's graphically.

The bad parts: boring combat, bad balance past the first few levels and too many obvious exploits, some activities were repetitive. Also, very bland NPC dialogue. Luckily, a lot of this is supposed to be fixed in the next in the series, Oblivion (www.elderscrolls.com).

One complaint I've heard from some people are that they had no idea what they were supposed to do, that basically, they never felt pushed along the storyline. A lot of people though, like me, actually really appreciated that part, since you could do whatever you wanted in the world and do quests in any order instead of following a set main storyline. They're apparently trying to balance the two schools of thought in Oblivion. We'll see. I'm hopeful.

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Originally, I found the game refreshing from the standard click and slash games like Diablo, but like the others above, after a few hours of play the game became repetative and fairly boring; to the point of trying to find ways to screw up the world instead of saving it. At least the little bit of chaos that created spiced things up a bit. The quest system felt unfinished, as thought they threw it together in a last dash to finish it (wonder if they did?). The character dialog was atrocious.

Now don't take my rambling as a bad thing, there were quite a few good things to be found in the game. I mean, honestly, who didn't find the mage who fell from the sky to die in front of you amusing? The spell system was interesting as were most of the skills. I like the way your actions had an affect on how you were recieved by NPC's.

I think what gave a lot of players a bad taste for the game was the fact that you could do whatever you wanted and didn't have clear direction. Some people don't like to have to put a lot of thought in a game. They just want to hack and slash and have fun. Nothing wrong with that. I lean more towards the detailed RPG's. Personally, I found the to be the best attibute of the game. My .02

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I think the best way to sum up Morrowind is as a singleplayer MMOG.
It has the size and mass-produced generic content of a MMOG, with the same repetetive quests and bland NPC's, dull combat system, but it doesn't have the multiplayer aspect that are MMOGs' saving grace.

On the whole, I tried to enjoy it, but after a few hours, it just seemed a waste of time.

Yes, you could do whatever you wanted, but somehow, whatever you did, it didn't actually seem to affect the game much. You'd still be faced with the same quests (similar to the last 28 quests you did), the same NPC's (who say *exactly* the same things as every other NPC you've met), and so on. It was like punching fog. No matter what you did, it just didn't seem to have much bearing on the actual game.

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Well what I would say has mostly been said.

Good:
Non-Linear.
Nicest graphics for an RPG when it came out, (that I played).
Large world.
The skills (Crafting, Alchemy, etc..) and hwo you progressed in them.
Different than most to experience something new.

Bad:
Combat. _
Large (mostly empty) world. |
Not enough variety in monsters. |-Needed More Variety
Got repetitive. _|
To easy to find exploits and become Godlike.
Though the larger towns (don't remember their names) were probably set up more realisticly, it was a pain having to travel forever to get to where you wanted).

Also keep in mind it has been awhile since I played it.

Overall I liked it, though I never finished it (probably 90+% complete and still have my saved games if I decide to pick it up agan) because it got to be to boring/repetitive).

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I played Morrowind a lot (it was my favorite game a long time ago), and quite frankly lots of the comments made here are wrong.

Anyone who explored the world and the caves would know that it was definately NOT empty. There were hours upon hours of informal quests to do that could be found inside various caves and strongholds.

I bet none of you guys who said the world was dull knew there was an underwater grotto with tons of perls in it in the lake right next to Seyda Neen (the place where you start). No offense, but if you explore, you'll find the world very rich and detailed.

As for the comment about the world being populated by a few hundred people, that's simply wrong. I can't remember the exact number, but it's actually somewhere around 5 thousand.

The quests really were not repetitive in any way if you did the informal ones. I agree that some of the Guild quests got boring, but most of the quests were fairly original (such as watching Fargoth hide his secret stash in a pond on top of the lighthouse in Seyda Neen).

I do agree also that combat got tedious and repetitive, though I personally liked it because I hate the standard RPG system of clicking the screen over and over.

And also, the classes did not merge as you went on. Your class had a major impact on how you levelled, especially on your attributes. That comment was wrong too.

About the comment about walking too much: by using Silt Striders and the Mages Guild transport people you could basically walk no more than in other RPGs if you wanted. The problem is doing so would drain you of money eventually.

Anyway, now that I've corrected the misconceptions, I'll say my opinions about the game:

Good
- Excellent itemization. I think it's impossible to collect every item in the game.
- The enchantment system was awsome, and helped out with the already great itemization.
- Very good spells (however, this was countered by a sucky spell system).
- Huge, explorable world; very detailed environments; LOTS of informal quests to do.
- Awsome graphics for the time.
- Totally open-ended. There was NOTHING to guide you in the right or wrong direction.

Bad
- You didn't have enough impact on the world, especially the reactions in NPCs which remained basically unchanged except when you become the Nerevarine (when you beat the game).
- Combat was tedious.
- Repetitive music (though this is probably irrelevant as it has little to do with the game's design).
- Dull and very often repeated dialogue.
- Little variety in monstors.
- The spell system was just plain bad.
- Totally open-ended. There was NOTHING to guide you in the right or wrong direction.

And BTW, I'm not some psycho fanboy for Bethesda, I just happened to have played that game a lot with my cousin, and judging by my memory some comments made just weren't correct.

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Personally I liked the game much, but I can see where the critics are coming from. There aren't a lot of immediately pleasurable activities, there's no constant dramatic tension, and progress isn't guaranteed by a set path. In a way it feels refreshingly oldskool, you're unleashed into the gamedesigners' world without much concern for what a modern game is "expected" to do. You make your experience either worthwhile or not.

Good:
- Lovely atmosphere
- A whole world, instead of just the necessary / story-relevant parts
- No artificial limits to what you can do
- Huge variety in items, spells, character building

Bad:
- Boring/uninspired bestiary (the overworld mostly, ruins/tombs/special places are better)
- Lack of tension and urgency
- No real dialogue, people are rather like walking keyword-dictionaries :)
- Doesn't guarantee a pleasant, varied & focused game experience

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Morrowind is my favorite RPG, although I am perhapse an idealist. It definitely had shortcomings, but I see this style of game (very freeform) as being the future of the genre, IMHO of course.

Good

- Large world lets characters who like to explore do so. There is something attractive about it, even if there isn't anything at your final destination

- Crafting system was balanced and interesting.

- Character creation was pretty freeform and allowed for a lot of customization

Bad

- Single player in such a large world? Very, very lonely. Just begging for xbox live.

- Mind-numbingly dull combat - I hope Elder Scrolls Four takes a hint from Fable.

- I killed the Demon Pit Spawn From Hell and nobody cared.

- Foot travel only made walking from place to place much more of a chore. Would have been nice to have had horses, or more teleportation spells

- For all the NPCs in the world, I never cared about one of them.

- Graphics (though not IMO too important) were quite repetitive

Hopefully, with the power of the next generation of consoles, M4 will allow a richer, more vibrant world. With XBox live - I think that I would buy the service just to play MMO Elder Scrolls.

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