The Elder Scrolls

Currently playing through Morrowind for the first time.

TheElderScrolls3 - Currently playing through Morrowind for the first time.

As a preface, the first TES game I ever played was Oblivion GOTY edition (always with the Unofficial Patch because Bethesda don’t fix their games). I sunk a lot of time into that, and thoroughly enjoyed that game despite its design flaws. I finished the main quest, all the faction quest-lines, all the DLC content, and a whole bunch of side quests.

I modded the game quite a bit, primarily with visual mods to make it look better but also a few gameplay overhauls for certain playthroughs (e.g. Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul and the like). I owned a copy of Morrowind GOTY that entire time (which I bought sometime after I first finished Oblivion), but I never played it.

When Skyrim came out I bought it on release and sunk a dozen or so hours into it before stopping to mod it because, at least for me, there were (even at that time) too many mods I didn’t want to play the game without. I think I spent more time modding Skyrim than playing it, but that may be an exaggeration.

Most of the mods I use were just to improve the game, but generally keep it with a fairly vanilla feel: SkyUI, Convenient Horses, SMIM, etc. For whatever reason, though, the game just didn’t hook me. I’d install it, install a bunch of mods I like, test them and get it all working perfectly, start a new game, play to Riverwood or Whiterun and then quit.

It’s not a bad game per se, it’s a pretty good action-adventure exploration game (I wouldn’t really call it an RPG), but for whatever reason it just couldn’t hold my interest. I don’t know if it was the world, or the writing, or what. I never felt compelled to finish the main quest, any of the faction quest-lines or do any of the DLC (though I plan to do all of these one day!).

Anyway, I recently reinstalled Morrowind GOTY and decided to give it another crack. I wanted to mod it so it looked a bit better, but also wanted to keep it fairly vanilla. So I’m only using the Morrowind Graphics Extender, the Morrowind Code Patch, and the Morrowind Patch for Purists.

Read:  To the Devs - Thank you for the hard work

I’m playing as a male Imperial with Long Blade, Medium Armour, Sneak, Speechcraft and Illusion as major skills, and Short Blade, Security, Alteration, Mysticism and Athletics as minor skills. Personality and Luck are my favoured attributes, my specialisation is Stealth, and my birthsign is the Shadow. At the moment I’m level 13 with about 23 hours put in so far. I’ve finished (as far as I know) Seyda Neen, and done a good amount of the Fighters, Mages and Thieves Guilds in Balmora and some quests for House Hlaalu.

I’ve not even been to Vivec yet, and I’m currently exploring Ald’Ruhn (they live in a giant crab-shell!!). I am thoroughly enjoying reading the dialogue, although some of it is repetitive and I wish it would ‘grey out’ if I’ve already read the response like in Oblivion. In any case, it’s just such an interesting, fascinating and creative world – truly a pleasure to explore.

I mean, yes, the levelling system is imperfect (the min-maxing of attributes per level is just as annoying here as it was in Oblivion)… but I still prefer it to Skyrim’s red/green/blue jack-and-master-of-all-trades system (i.e. I like attributes AND skills, and I hope the next TES has them both but does them better).

The running costing fatigue is annoying (Skyrim’s sprint for fatigue system is much better), but I do like how you can boost the Athletics skill and the Speed attribute to get much faster (just need to figure out a good way to use the Boots of Blinding Speed). Magicka not regenerating is also different, but not a big deal. The sheer array of spells available is great, and the depth of the spellmaking and enchanting systems is so good (I wish the next TES allows similar freedom here).

Most of all I just like the choice and consequence in the game, the politics of the factions and world, and how you start off as a nobody and have to earn your way to power. Right now I have 5 Reputation and sometimes the guards look at me and ask ‘Do I know you?’ – FINALLY, THE RECOGNITION I’VE WORKED SO HARD FOR. Looking forward to visiting Vivec (probably after I finish up at Ald’Ruhn and Maar Gan and after I go to Suran).

Read:  Insulting Then Leaving

TL;DR – Playing Morrowind for the first time after having only played Oblivion and Skyrim. Thoroughly enjoying it, easily my favourite entry in the series (that I’ve played).

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