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Happy 25th Birthday, Elder Scrolls

User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • The Sarien Encounter

#1

https://bethesda.net...e-elder-scrolls

Morrowind is free on their website through their launcher for today only.

Bethesda posted a nice piece of artwork on their page. I assume that is Jagar Tharn on the bottom right with the Staff of Chaos. I like it. Nice wallpaper.

https://images.ctfassets.net/rporu91m20dc/4qJwwmWI899l8d60kFGKUZ/72b7a77d66f95c2a17401131f9909eb9/TES25_HERO_1920x870_2.jpg
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User is offline   Avoozl 

#2

People should look into the Morrowind Sounds and Graphics Overhaul mod, also there were some free official plugins/DLC for this game which wasn't included on the GOTY edition. https://en.uesp.net/...rrowind:Plugins They were official but bethesdas website no longer hosts them so thankfully this wiki still has them.

This post has been edited by Avoozl: 25 March 2019 - 06:34 PM

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User is offline   Rimantas 

#3

Let's don't forget Arena (1994), it's first in franchise and is very awesome. It has HUGE world, complete freedom, beautiful graphics, amazing music.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • The Sarien Encounter

#4

Arena and Daggerfall are also completely free.

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 25 March 2019 - 06:33 PM

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User is offline   Jblade 

#5

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 25 March 2019 - 03:36 PM, said:

https://bethesda.net...e-elder-scrolls

Morrowind is free on their website through their launcher for today only.

Bethesda posted a nice piece of artwork on their page. I assume that is Jagar Tharn on the bottom right with the Staff of Chaos. I like it. Nice wallpaper.

https://images.ctfassets.net/rporu91m20dc/4qJwwmWI899l8d60kFGKUZ/72b7a77d66f95c2a17401131f9909eb9/TES25_HERO_1920x870_2.jpg

Neat, I wonder if the tower on the left is supposed to be the Direnni tower.
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User is offline   Malgon 

#6

Hah, I'm actually playing through Morrowind at the moment for the first time. 230 hours in and still a while to go yet. It's a huge game, that's for sure.

View PostAvoozl, on 25 March 2019 - 04:01 PM, said:

People should look into the Morrowind Sounds and Graphics Overhaul mod, also there were some free official plugins/DLC for this game which wasn't included on the GOTY edition. https://en.uesp.net/...rrowind:Plugins They were official but bethesdas website no longer hosts them so thankfully this wiki still has them.

I'm not sure if those ones listed are the 'dirty' versions. Go here to get the 'cleaned' versions, which resolve bugs and some other issues.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#7

For some reason I was completely unaware of the TES games in the 90s (but I wasn't generally into RPGs back then, maybe my classmates did not play them a lot so I didn't learn about the genre from them) and first played Arena and Daggerfall sometime in the later 2000s. I loved the open world of DF and emergent gameplay, in spite of the many bugs and obviously incomplete features in this truly ambitious project.

I was hearing about Morrowind as the best title in the series and last year actually bought the GOG.com version. I tried not to have any expectations but the game still surprised me in the way it differs from the previous two instalments. No more random quests, no more randomly generated locations. The world got a lot more detail but became a lot more story driven and coherent. A very different experience to me. Can't say I fell in love with the game but certainly appreciate the creative effort. The books are cool and feel less random now. Also someone of the developers really is into the Roman Empire -- there wasn't a single hint in the previous games that the Cyrodiilic Empire was Fantasy Romans. There also appears to have been some greater than superficial reading on religions going into design as I noted references to Gnosticism and even designs resembling Mandaean iconography in some places.

My first playthrough was ruined though because I embarked on the Tribunal quest branch without as much as reaching level 2. I deliberately did not read up anything about the plot not to spoil the game, so how would I know that the Dark Brotherhood attack that happens like right at the start of the game was supposed to be aside-quest that you don't need to take on until you get some experience? Okay, I managed to get into their lair in Mournhold and actually, by sheer luck and save scumming, wipe out the entire roster of Dark Brotherhood mooks while reaching around level 5. And, well, nothing happened. I found a book with obscure Gnostic-esque references, and that's all. I was also disappointed that I could not put on the Dark Brotherhood armour and sneak around undetected -- the mask covers the face, how could they tell I wasn't one of them? Was my character (a Breton Spellsword) a little too short for a Dark Brotherhood Apprentice?

I was also quite a bit surprised (to put it mildly) at how the entire Tamriel race naming convention established in Arena and Daggerfall was ditched in Morrowind. I was intending to have an in-depth playthrough so I gave my character an authentic Breton name of Dunastyr Greensley, only to find out that no Breton was called like that anymore.

I hope that all this does not sound like criticism of Morrowind because I actually like the game -- just not as much as the previous two titles. Or, it has a different features set and different advantages so to speak. Very neat storytelling all-in-all, at the same time I cannot say thet everything contributed to maintaining an illusion of a realistic world. For example, why were the NPC schedule and shop closing hours removed? NPCs just keep treading about their preset pathways tirelessly 24 hours a day, not even in a thunderstorm they seek shelter or anything. Or just stand around in places. I mean, when an NPC is a two-dimensional low-res sprite which has at best some five frames of animation it's not surprising but when it's a full-blown 3D model this lethargic attitude is way more obvious. As for the schedules I remember a random NPC in Vivec actually says something along the lines of "It seems that no one sleeps anymore these days", breaking the fourth wall in regard of this but it still does not explain why this design choice was made.

Speaking of design choices, I found very little information about the actual development of Morrowind available. Sure there's info on how the tech developed and how the game world was supposed to be way more dynamic than it turned out to be -- that is quite similar to Daggerfall actually -- but no real info on who came up with the idea that the Imperials should be based on Ancient Rome and stuff like that. Maybe there are some dev interviews and other information scattered across contemporary gaming magazines but I haven't found anything so far (not that I was actively digging though).
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • The Sarien Encounter

#8

I was completely oblivious to Elder Scrolls as well actually. But I, too, was not into RPGs. My brother was always playing games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star, and Shining Force. Then when I bought Half-Life 2 in a bundle with an ATI All-in-Wonder 9800pro it came with a free copy of Morrowind. I had no idea what it was but somehow my brother had learned of it and asked if he could have it. I said sure. I glanced at him playing it but it really didn't seem up my alley. However, eventually I gave it a go. Yeah, definitely not up my alley. Couldn't stand the dice-roll combat system. But the game looked and sounded beautiful. Then when Oblivion was announced and upcoming my brother was poring over the news. He finally bought a deluxe edition at launch and I tried it out myself. Man did I ever like it so much better than Morrowind! No drab colours, a combat system driven by player agency, and with (as far as I could tell at the time) all the extra bonuses of the above-and-beyond approach of Morrowind. I had started hearing that people were complaining about the changes from Morrowind to Oblivion and how not everything was hand made and the "RPG" in the game was non-existent. But I didn't care. That was exactly what I had wanted. I loved everything about Oblivion from the stories to the combat systems, the music (which I still say has the best soundtrack in any Elder Scrolls game), locations, all of it.

Sometime later I decided to find out more about TES 1 and 2. I started playing Arena and had a great time. That game is so easy to pick up and just go with it. It's a lot less interesting than the storytelling in Morrowind or Oblivion (or Skyrim), but I enjoyed the retro 3D FPS world accomplishing all the quests. I managed to get the first piece of the Staff of Chaos in Fang Lair and then got poisoned without any antidotes so I couldn't leave. If I rested, I died. If I traveled, I died. My only hope was to keep fighting enemies and hope that I ran into one that was carrying an antidote. No such luck. Gave up shortly thereafter with essentially a dead end save game (older save games were too far behind for me to want to go back to).

Then, after a lot of jury-rigging, I tried Daggerfall and MAN was that game difficult. I don't think it ever lets up either. The game was gorgeous and seemed like the ultimate Elder Scrolls game. You can actually walk across the countryside this time from one end of the province to the other but it would take you literal years. Much more interesting than the infinitely randomly generating landscape of Arena which made running around outside of dungeons and towns pointless (which was the whole fun part of Morrowind and Oblivion; coming across random stuff).

I like Skyrim and played it when it came out, but it wasn't as engaging as Oblivion. The storytelling and voice acting I think had improved tremendously, but the quests just seemed too short. Awesome story though and an even better combat system, in my opinion. And to this day when I try to go back and play Morrowind I only get so far and then stop. I just can't get past its combat system. It's too much of a grindfest to get through. Oblivion will always remain my favourite.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#9

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 26 March 2019 - 05:28 AM, said:

I managed to get the first piece of the Staff of Chaos in Fang Lair and then got poisoned without any antidotes so I couldn't leave. If I rested, I died. If I traveled, I died. My only hope was to keep fighting enemies and hope that I ran into one that was carrying an antidote. No such luck. Gave up shortly thereafter with essentially a dead end save game (older save games were too far behind for me to want to go back to).

Yeah, same was the demise of one of the multitude of Daggerfall characters I played. I think DF is kind of like NetHack in this sometimes, and eventually, you learn more by failing (there's an excellent article about this by the author or Ultima Ratio Regnum, but oddly I can't find it ATM). At least this reinforces a strategic approach to gameplay: get into a Temple and advance so that you can buy potions and come to the dungeons prepared. I had a lot of trial-and-error experiences like this with Daggerfall generally.

I believe Morrowind may be actually rather similar in this respect, it's just that I didn't give it enough tries yet. I find the forced walking coupled with the new stamina system (no permanent running) very annoying, I get it that you can enjoy a lot of scenery this way but man, the time spent on walking is disproportionate IMO.

Thanks for sharing your opinions on Oblivion, I guess I should check it out sometime :lol:
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User is offline   Kathy 

#10

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 26 March 2019 - 05:28 AM, said:

And to this day when I try to go back and play Morrowind I only get so far and then stop. I just can't get past its combat system. It's too much of a grindfest to get through.

Because it doesn't scale to your level? :lol:
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • The Sarien Encounter

#11

No. That was actually one of the few things I thought was a downside to Oblivion. But it didn't ruin the game for me either. I do consider Morrowind superior in that area. But it's such a small qualm I don't really care.

I'm primarily a shooter fan when it comes to FPS games. That's why I prefer the combat systems of Oblivion and Skyrim to the dice-roll classic RPG approach of Morrowind because I like player agency. It's also why I prefer The Legend of Zelda to Final Fantasy or Secret of Mana for instance. So things like scaling bad guy leveling is not really something that's on my radar of important game elements to worry about.

I understand why Morrowind and RPG fans in general were disappointed with Oblivion and even more with Skyrim. The whole "it's basically just an action/adventure game now with upgrade mechanics" viewpoint. I respect and sympathize with that, but for me personally it works quite nicely. That said, I DO kind of miss the class system from Oblivion. But the new "choose your own path" skill approach was a really interesting take as well. I wouldn't mind at all if there was a new TES game with the older class structure, though.

View PostMrFlibble, on 26 March 2019 - 06:21 AM, said:

I get it that you can enjoy a lot of scenery this way but man, the time spent on walking is disproportionate IMO.


Scenery? Lol you mean the areas of land contained within the aura of low-draw-distance fog that surrounds you? That's not a problem now with modern mods and patches, but back then you wouldn't see very much ahead of you than a few meters (Oblivion had this problem as well, though not as much). All I recall was a bunch of flat swampy hills with the odd trees and mushrooms with drab green and brownish colours. To its credit, that did make the game seem way larger than it actually was (worked great for sandstorm weather effects too!). In fact, now when I play Morrowind with modern patches that increase draw distance I find it really odd that you can just glance down the street from Pelagiad or Fort Moonmoth (or whatever was in that area around Balmora) and see the city of Vivec which, to me back in the day, always seemed like a huge journey to reach it. It doesn't feel right that it should be that close. Oblivion, again, was better about this, but you increase the draw distance with mods in that game as well and you can see the White Gold Tower from Kvatch or something silly like that. Skyrim seemed to get away with finally a proper far draw distance system and hiding other cities with clever terrain design.

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 26 March 2019 - 12:22 PM

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User is offline   Zaxx 

  • Banned

#12

Oh, Morrorwind, the time of innocence for Bethesda! Before they massacred Oblivion with copy pasted dungeons and some horse armor for good measure, before they raped Fallout and before they dumbed down and devoured their own game design like cannibals for Skyrim! Morrowind is a great game indeed.
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User is offline   Major Tom 

#13

Website says the free thing is until Sunday..hopefully it'll work on my rig.
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User is offline   Zaxx 

  • Banned

#14

View PostMajor Tom, on 26 March 2019 - 01:54 PM, said:

Website says the free thing is until Sunday..hopefully it'll work on my rig.

Originally it was only for one day but Bethesda's servers are not exactly top notch so the demand brought their service down.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#15

I just played the Redguard demo - I thought that it was a Windows title but the game binary is for DOS and runs with a Glide-supporting DOSBox build and nGlide. I never thought that I'd be interested in a third-person action-adventure (Tomb Raider aside) and did this more out of curiosity.

But so far I can tell that Redguard gives you a very clear idea where Morrowind comes from. Indeed some of the core concepts and designs, including the "exotic" setting with a rich background the player has to discover, and the opposition between the locals and the Empire (and also the theme of lost dwarven artifacts), are so similar that it's now hard for me not to think of both games as parts of a single continuum. In retrospect, I understand now why there was such a drastic change between Daggerfall and Morrowind, I should have played Redguard first :o
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#16

Today I found this beautiful little piano & violin performance of a Morrowind medley I'd like to share.

From time to time I listen to various video game music covers played with live instruments that I find on YouTube, and I should say it is not often that the performers are as skilled as the duo above.

This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 22 February 2021 - 12:17 PM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#17

Since we don't have a TES corner (yet?) I guess I'll share this here. A user over at the DFWorkshop forums plays Daggerfall Unity with a selection of mods which, without radically altering the game mechanics, create a whole new story. Which said user narrates with screenshot illustrations, in a very nice and entertaining way. Excellent roleplaying!
The Tale of Kalaron Spellire
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User is offline   Lazy Dog 

#18

Todd does it again, Skyrim Anniversary Edition announced.

https://collider.com...te-ps5-xbox-pc/

Include over 500 pieces of Creation Crap Club content a.k.a Paid Mods™.



This post has been edited by Lazy Dog: 20 August 2021 - 08:32 PM

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User is offline   jkas789 

#19

View PostLazy Dog, on 20 August 2021 - 07:22 PM, said:

Todd does it again, Skyrim Anniversary Edition announced.

https://collider.com...te-ps5-xbox-pc/

Include over 500 pieces of Creation Crap Club content a.k.a Paid Mods™.



Not all CC mods are crap though. Forgotten Seasons (by trainwiz) and the houses that were made by Elianora are pretty good.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • The Sarien Encounter

#20

It's just the Special Edition with community made content. There's an "upgrade pack" you can buy to get all the missing parts if you already have Special Edition. And the upcoming "next-gen update" (which I can only assume means raytracing) will come for free for Special Edition owners. I ain't gotta buy nothin' this time. I'm still fuzzy though about the new fishing mechanic and whether that's a free update or part of the additional paid "Anniversary Edition" community content.

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 21 August 2021 - 06:25 AM

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User is offline   jkas789 

#21

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 21 August 2021 - 06:24 AM, said:

I'm still fuzzy though about the new fishing mechanic and whether that's a free update or part of the additional paid "Anniversary Edition" community content.


Probably paid. Probably without any sort of drm stopping you from grabbing the esl file and loading it on another installation of skyrim. I'm planning on buying it myself so if you don't mind a bit of mexican piracy I don't mind sharing it.

Spoiler

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#22

Just found a couple nice videos!


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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#23

Part 2 of the Daggerfall feature:

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User is offline   jkas789 

#24

Those were some nice videos MrFlibble
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • The Sarien Encounter

#25

Def going on my Watch List.
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User is offline   Futa Orc 

  • blocked and reported!

#26

Yeah, enjoyable. Made me wanna try Unity-Daggerfall. I never played it before.
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User is offline   jkas789 

#27

View PostFuta Orc, on 12 September 2021 - 07:24 AM, said:

Yeah, enjoyable. Made me wanna try Unity-Daggerfall. I never played it before.


You should, Daggerfall is pretty good and the mods for Unity Daggerfall are pretty good. You can find them on the nexus.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#28

Daggerfall is amazing in spite of all its flaws, and with DFU's modding potential the possibilities are nigh unlimited.

I have to admit, after playing Daggerfall, Morrowind felt a bit disappointing to me. It's so much easier to imagine than DF is a real, living world, even though it's created with very limited tools if you compare it to modern games.

Just check out the narrative playthrough (or rather, play-around) that I linked to earlier (Kalaron Spellire). The guy sure has a knack for writing, but it also gives you the idea of how the mods enhance the experience, and how one can roleplay in the real sense of the world (i.e. imagine your own story, not just follow the signposts) in it. It's almost like a LEGO set but a roleplaying game.
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