Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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An assessment of Oblivion after having first played Skyrim, then Morrowind

Discussion in 'Bethesda Softworks' started by Roguey, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Wayward Songender: ⚧ Fails to keep valuable team members alive

    Wayward Son
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    Even at age 8 I thought it was ridiculous.
     
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  2. Dakkagender: ⚧ Literate

    Dakka
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    Ah, yes. "Producing things and then selling them". I'm sure it will never catch on. :russia:
     
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  3. huskarlsgender: ⚧ Novice

    huskarls
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    Morrowind is a mediocre adventure game with neither combat, C&C, nor story going for it, just like every other TES game past daggerfall. Its popularity stems from being a childhood baby sitter and any one anxious to shit on oblivion or skyrim is desperate to put space between them and morrowind.
     
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  4. huskarlsgender: ⚧ Novice

    huskarls
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    Edgy would be saying Morrowind is garbage instead of mediocre
     
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  5. Make America Great Again Zed Duke of Banvillegender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Dakkagender: ⚧ Literate

    Dakka
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    You're just being contrarian. Please, provide evidence for Morrowind's supposed mediocrity.

    Lol, you care about internet stickers.
     
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  7. huskarlsgender: ⚧ Novice

    huskarls
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    better combat - Ice wind dale 2/ Might and magic 9
    better quests - Gothic 2, divine divinity
    similar story quality - NWN

    All these games released the same year as morrowind, yet morrowind doesn't divide itself from the pack in any single category
     
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  8. Iznaliugender: ⚧ Arbiter

    Iznaliu
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    I think most people would dispute that claim.
     
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  9. Sigourngender: ⚧ Magister

    Sigourn
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    You would be right... except in the real world, work takes time. In Morrowind, you just *poof* stuff into existence because it doesn't take any time to get the job done. There aren't any needs either. Even if in Morrowind it took, say, "five hours" to make a potion, the player would still make infinite money because he has no expenses to take care of.

    The only soft-limit to how rich you can get in Morrowind is the amount of gold and materials on the NPC you are buying from.

    EDIT: Ahh, the retraded button. The instant "you are wrong and I'm right" cheat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  10. Luckmanngender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Only the first one is true, but also, you don't have to distinguish yourself in any one category to make up a great whole. If you're overall great in a wide range of categories, you'll still be better than a game that's amazing in a few, but simply garbage in others. Furthermore, Morrowind can a be an amazing game without necessarily being the best thing since baked bread 10/10 no flaws superstar, and in the context of Oblivion and Skyrim, Morrowind could be judged to be mediocre and still completely outclass the others simple because mediocre is still infinitely better than something that's objectively shit.

    Also, finally, he asked for evidence of Morrowind's supposed mediocrity - you trying to (erroneously) claim that a few games were better on a few points than Morrowind does nothing of the sort.
     
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  11. Mastergender: ⚧ Learned

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    Is Morrowind really that good? Tried it a couple of times but the game seems like a walking sim.
     
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  12. jarmarogender: ⚧ Learned

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    Oblivion not being as bad as Codex told you? For me it was actually 2x worse than Codex told me.
    A real abomination.
     
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  13. Make America Great Again Rogueygender: ⚧ Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Hiking sim. The walking sim parts are what you do in the cities.
     
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  14. Mastergender: ⚧ Learned

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    Well i didnt get out of the first city, so it seemed its just straight walking. But if the game has this variety, i may give it a chance.:salute:
     
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  15. Sigourngender: ⚧ Magister

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    The only things Morrowind does well is:

    - Being good at something no other game does (open world RPG).
    - The setting and lore.

    That's quite literally it. The graphics are awful (compare to Gothic II), the world is dead (compare to Gothic and Gothic II), the music is extremely repetitive, the sound design is bad too (the Morrowind Acoustic Overhaul shows how the game should sound like), the quests are generic (go there, get me that; very few Morrowind quests are actually different), the faction progression is not bad but ultimately pointless (Gothic made a much better job at making you feel important when advacing through factions), the combat is laughably bad and completely broken (you can spam attacks much faster than enemies can, for one), the dungeons are short, repetitive and few hold anything useful, the writing is bad (NPCs are dispensers of info and don't talk like real people AT ALL, ask them what their occupation is and they give you a job resume instead), among other criticisms...

    Morrowind's greatness comes from being a mediocre open world RPG has opposed to a terrible open world RPG (Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3). I love Morrowind, but I would be lying if I said it is "great". If the Gothic games had the scale of Morrowind, I would devote my time to them instead.

    EDIT:

    An example of bad writing vs serviceable writing:

     
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  16. Rivmusiquegender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    no it isn't
     
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  17. anvigender: ⚧ Scholar

    anvi
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    The walking is super painful. Mod that or don't play. Other than that, it is an ok, basic, action RPG. I completed it once, wouldn't play it again. Better than all the other Bethesda games though.
     
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  18. Dakkagender: ⚧ Literate

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    I see your point, but all this still doesn't prove Morrowind's mediocrity. Merriam-Webster defines mediocre as "of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance: ordinary, so-so". Being good at something no other game does is the exact opposite of that. And as Luckman said, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
     
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  19. huskarlsgender: ⚧ Novice

    huskarls
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    Here is the argument again that Morrowind is one of the top ten greatest rpgs ever made (don't forget to vote in the new top 100 poll!) because its sequels weren't good. In the open world RPG category we have fallout new vegas, witcher 3, the risen series, the gothic series, stalker, wizardry, fable, dark messiah, dragon's dogma, even two worlds

    But then you can say well they didn't have the same amount of content, which devolves into a fallout V fallout 2 argument about whether an inferior game can be better because it had more content
     
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  20. Sigourngender: ⚧ Magister

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    My point is that very few games try to do what Morrowind does in the scale Morrowind does. Off the top of my head: Bethesda games and literally nothing else. Gothic doesn't compare, Gothic II doesn't compare, Risen doesn't compare, The Witcher doesn't compare, and so on and so on. Not even New Vegas compares, and I'd argue Fallout 3 doesn't either. So that leaves us with THREE Elder Scrolls games: Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, all of which have a similar scale and scope.

    Of the three, Morrowind is without a doubt the best. But to call it "great" is blatantly ignoring that it is only mediocre whereas Oblivion and Skyrim are just bad. I want strong arguments as to why Morrowind is great that don't devolve to "it's the only game of its kind that is not shit". Else, without Morrowind, we would be claiming Oblivion is a great game.
     
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  21. Dakkagender: ⚧ Literate

    Dakka
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    That's what I thought you were getting at. In the absence of anything better at what Morrowind does, and without the problems that plague its sequels, I really don't think "mediocre" is the right word. Sure, it's a bit rough around the edges. It lacks radiant AI too. But I would call it "good" at the very least. Oblivion would not be great in any case, due to the potato faces, level scaling, disappointing world design, story that my 8-year-old cousin could have written better, etc. These problems transcend genre.

    Don't get me wrong. Morrowind is certainly not perfect. Maybe if Bethesda didn't go the direction it did with Oblivion, we might have seen more refinement in the open world western RPG concept. But they did, we haven't, and the only hope for that is for another company to tackle it with a fresh perspective.
     
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  22. Ventidiusgender: ⚧ Educated

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    It is true the game was somewhat lackluster in parts, but it had a couple of things going for it. The main two were overworld exploration and freedom.

    As I said in my previous posts, Morrowind is still one of the best examples of overworld exploration in the genre. It largely fills the two the checkboxes: There are (1)plenty of things to do and (2)obstacles to surmount.

    Regarding the first point, MW offers more than most games: lots of small dungeons, cities, quests, factions, and enemies. Not to mention that due to the unique non-craftable loot placed all across the world, there is all the more incentive to interact with it. It is a vast world, and the game does a fine job of filling it up content-wise. A lot of people don’t like that it feels "lifeless", and confuse that with emptiness while calling it the latter, while they are not the same thing. The game is not empty by any means, the thing is that the content is spread out thinly across a large world. This is a double-edged sword. The disadvantage is that individual units of content feel somewhat featureless, but the are advantages too. For one, there is the epic sense of scale, of a large and deep world out there to be explored and conquered.

    Other games try to disguise the fact that they are in fact tiny playgrounds through gimmicks like making overworld areas vaguely dungeon-like(Gothic II comes to mind), but Morrowind goes balls out fleshing out an entire world because it has the content to back it up. That the content is relatively samey(and it is nowhere nearly as bad as games like Daggerfall and Oblivion that try to achieve the same by relying more heavily on procedural elements), is the price for what it aimed to do. People dismiss this factor too often, not realizing that quantity is a quality, and that this is a (legitimate) reason why people keep coming back to this game.

    This aspect of the game also synergizes with its commitment to player freedom, because it often means little to simply allow the players to do as they please, if the game does not offer concrete and positive things to do. Morrowind does that, and apart from quantity, it also offers a variety in the things to do that other open world games. The fact that it actually puts a bunch of dungeons inside their overworlds already set them apart from not only the typical open world Ubisoft/rockstar crowd, but even from RPGs that have attempted similar things like Witcher 3 and Gothic 2. It would be missing the point to claim that individually these aspects are inferior to this or that game, since the achievement here is that so many different aspects have been carved into the world, and most of them are done at least decently. Both mechanically and lore-wise, the game is a wonder of worldbuilding. Universality, here as in so many other things, is Morrowind’s virtue.

    It should also be noted that Morrowind makes up for the sense of repetition through its wonderful worldbuilding and lore - still one of the very best in RPGs - which makes up to a large extent for the lack of personality of particular people and events by putting them in the context of a world that just oozes character. In Morrowind it is the world and its history that matters, not the individuals in it (it is telling that the most interesting individuals in Morrowind are literally its gods, and embody much of the land’s lore and history). Exploring a vast, deep, overworld like this is one of the few experiences in RPGs that gives you that sense of conquest of the deep unknown that personally reminds me of the feeling you get in strategy games as you clear the fog of war.

    As for the second point mentioned above(the world offering obstacles), I already examined it in some detail in my previous posts ITT, though I did come to the recognition that much of its effectiveness is undermined by poor balance. In fact, it is much deeper than that. It could be argued that freedom and options in games are inherently incompatible and always undermine survival elements, and that devs that choose the exploration route will have to choose one or the other down the line. Still, Morrowind did have some substantive survival elements in there, and did as good a job as any game could in offering that as a way to play the game, while also giving the player the option to play the game while exploiting its freedom to the fullest.

    The other key aspect of the game is the freedom it gives the player. You can do the main quest, or not, or join a guild, or kill someone and take their house, steal from others, become a vampire or a werewolf, summon daedra, and through the enchating, alchemy, and spell crafting systems you can really play the game like an actual wizard: levitating, teleporting, making yourself invisible, or super-fast, or virtually invincible through spells like sanctuary, reflect and spell absorption. The sheer breadth of options is staggering.

    It should be added that a lot of the latter options display a lot of engine interactivity and can also be used to do things in the order that you please and in the process create all sorts of unconventional situations and opportunities for emergent gameplay. This is one of the perks of playing a game that places less emphasis on scripted interactions, and it is one of the advantages that compensates for the loss of "lifelike" characteristics that giving up said scripted interactions results in. It's a fair tradeoff, given the overall design goals of the game. This kind of hands-off approach from the developers often does result in a clusterfuck of bugs, but the fact that the game is largely functional nevertheless is impressive.

    People shouldn’t be too dismissive of exploration as a valid aspect of RPG design to focus on, as it should be noted that it was one of the core features, along with character customization, that set RPGs apart from wargames. The reason for this is obvious, a role never exists in a vacuum. Both in the real world and in RPGs, a role implies an ecosystem of which the role is node and a complex of relationships, as much as it is a substantive thing in itself. And the idea of freedom and options, which is also key to the design approach of MW, is also key to RPGs, since being able to interact with the world in different ways results in the ability to play different roles. This concept can be implemented through reactivity and quest design, but also through such seemingly simple things as granting the player the ability to cast spells that allow him to fly around or run like a speedster.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  23. luj1gender: ⚧ Savant

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    What kind of a shit-eater played Skyrim before Morrowind? Murda yourself my man
     
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  24. Dakkagender: ⚧ Literate

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    Total non sequitor. The order people play the games in says nothing about their tastes, nor their worthiness to live. They could be, for instance, children or newcomers to the series.
     
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  25. Iznaliugender: ⚧ Arbiter

    Iznaliu
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    But you've got to have played Morrowind and Gothic in the womb!
     
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