The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Catch-All

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/4ZKV2k8.jpg)
I couldn't find an actual catch all for this game, and that seemed sad to me. Thus, a new Catch-All is born!

I installed the Morrowind Graphics Overhaul mod collection a few days ago, and I've been completely enthralled ever since. In 2005, Morrowind was my first RPG when I heard people excited about some game called Oblivion coming out soon and decided to see what the fuss was about.

Morrowind is a game with a unique atmosphere. You're dumped into the world with no idea why you've been released from prison. The locals hate you and call you an Outlander. They worships their ancestors. They ride around on building-sized, disemboweled insects. It rains all the time, the wildlife is diseased, and When you finally reach your contact from the Imperial Blades, he tells you to f**k off and gain a few skills before embarking on your real mission. At least the Fighter's Guild seems eager to take anyone who'll sign up...

It's a game that, at least starting out, doesn't seem like your typical power fantasy.

I've been playing a Dark Elf scout focusing on Marksman, Long Blade, Alteration, and a mix of armor types. Also dabbling in Speechcraft and Mercantile, though they don't help me level up.

While traipsing to the Caldera Ebony Mine on a mission for the Fighter's Guild, I encountered a nude Nord named Hlormar who had been enchanted and robbed by what he claimed was a witch. He wasn't sure where her camp was, but thought it might be northwest. We stumbled around the area, fighting off cliff racers, rats, and alits. Hlormar acquitted himself well considering he had no clothing or weapons with which to fight. Eventually we stumbled across a woman named Pemenie who offered me the Boots of Blinding Speed if I would take her to Gnaar Mok.

Pemenie and Hlormar didn't seem to like each other much.
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/gWKpqI2.jpg)

We eventually got to Gnaar Mok after evading some breeding bull netches and guars. I received the boots from Pemenie, but while chatting up the locals I learned there was a bounty on her head. When I confronted her about it, she drew her axe. Hlormar nudily punched her repeatedly in the back while I stabbed her repeatedly.

After wandering aimlessly a bit more looking for Hlormar's witch, we found her to the northeast of where I found him, rather than where he said. Her name was Sosia, and she helpfully explained that Hlormar had gotten a bit fresh with her while escorting her to Ald'Ruhn. She offered to return his things in three days' time. He was unhappy with this arrangement. Annoyed with the long trip out of my way, and irked that he been less than honorable with the woman he was charged to protect, I sided with Sosia, causing Hlormar to turn on me.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/NXr0frJ.jpg)

He didn't last long, though his naked skin was remarkable resilient against my silver longsword. I'm now on my way back to the Caldera Mining Company. Perhaps people will be more sensible there.

I received the Elder Scrolls anthology last Christmas and haven't opened it yet, but this just made me want to dive into Morrowind for the first time.

Morrowind is definitely one of my top five games of all time. I've played it practically to death, on and off since it came out, and somehow still haven't finished Bloodmoon. That's fine though since I still have "new" Morrowind goodness to play when I get in that mood for it again. And I always get into that mood eventually!

Even though the graphic overhauls are pretty, I really like the original graphics and find them to still be beautiful in their way, so the only graphic mods I've installed is Better Bodies. The rest of my mods are mostly various bug fixes, armor mannequins, and the like.

And considering that we're talking about Bethesda who has a reputation for making less-than-stellar storylines in their games, Morrowind's is actually quite good. So much depth and intrigue and politics. Morrowind is a really *deep* place. So much detail in everything.

Too many people get caught up with combat working like an old-school RPG where hits and misses are based on your *character's* skills rather than your twitch skills as a player, so they get incensed when their character misses an enemy who is standing right there in front of them. Personally, I find this to be a very trivial complaint versus the wonder that is Morrowind!

Morrowind is also one of the reasons for my having such a large RPG backlog. I've spent soooo much time there that it is like coming home whenever I play it again. Oblivion and Skyrim are poor shadow imitations of the greatness that is Morrowind. (Though I enjoy those games too for what they are.)

I love that witch quest. As I mentioned above, I use the Better Bodies mod and the option where the bodies are "anatomically correct." Not because I wanted to see a lot of naked characters, but it was the default option in the download, and I just went with it and didn't really think about it again since I typically keep everyone clothed and well-armored and the only times they show up naked is if I kill a bandit and think, "I really like that shirt and pants." So I'd practically forgotten about installing this mod for a long while and then came across Hlormar one day and I think my eyes literally bugged out. There he was standing there in the middle of the road...very visually *completely naked* in all his manly glory (except for his boots) and I just hadn't been expecting that at all! I don't think I'll ever forget that moment.

The Overhaul collection includes Better Bodies, so Hlormar was just hanging all out through the entirety of our wacky adventures together. It certainly added something intangible to the whole affair.

When I installed Morrowind, I hadn't been intending to install many mods, but the game has no widescreen support, so I looked around for mods to fix that and ended up going all out with the Overhaul collection.

The collection also included various gameplay tweaks that I left off. While I certainly understand people's frustrations with the chance-to-hit system, to me it's an integral part of the experience. It's been a frequent role-playing opportunity. Because managing your fatigue is required to maximize your chances of performing any crafting or speech/mercantile actions, in addition to combat, if I sprint in to town late at night, bloodied and lacking magicka, I'll make sure to rest at an inn or Guild location before doing anything else.

I never played the expansions either, so I'm looking forward to meeting the rest of the Tribunal and visiting Solstheim in its pre-Dragonborn state.

I haven't done my 'Reinstall Morrwind, mods, then not play it' routine for some time. Any time I think about doing so, I remind myself that at some point, Skywind will (hopefully) be finished, and I'll then get lost in it again..

The Graphics Overhaul definitely earned its name! Your screenshots are as much prettier than the set of mods I used a few years ago as that set of mods was compared to the base game.

I've been wanting to re-install again... but I'm going to wait to check out Skywind. I'm probably getting my hopes up...

I'll definitely check out Skywind when it comes out, but there's going to be so much about it that's different from the original game that it'll be a completely different beast. It may be good and interesting in its own right (and I hope it is) but I wanted that original experience I had years ago.

beanman101283 wrote:

It may be good and interesting in its own right (and I hope it is) but I wanted that original experience I had years ago.

Agreed. It's just that I've spent so many hours in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim that I feel I owe it to myself to try something "new."

I almost wish that a team could recreate the map/structures etc, and then turn it over as a sandbox of sorts for people to create new quest/story-based mods.

There is also Frontiers, that was kickstarted, and suggested to be inspired by the 'exploration' side of Morrowind. It's slightly delayed, but I'm still looking forward to it.

My problem with The Graphical Overhaul mods is, that the people really begin to stand out as the weak link, but that's an engine restriction. Maybe vanilla (with Unofficial Patches) is the way to go, warts and all I will miss breaking the Xbox (original) version, with the Soul-trap glitch and then just bashing my way around the world, but sure nothing will beat that first play-through, gradually beginning to feel more godly as the game progressed.

Gad, I'm going to fire it up in a second, at this rate.

PaladinTom wrote:
beanman101283 wrote:

It may be good and interesting in its own right (and I hope it is) but I wanted that original experience I had years ago.

Agreed. It's just that I've spent so many hours in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim that I feel I owe it to myself to try something "new."

I almost wish that a team could recreate the map/structures etc, and then turn it over as a sandbox of sorts for people to create new quest/story-based mods.

That would be interesting, especially if someone got ambitious and made some sort of "prequel" quest line to explore 2nd era Morrowind around the time of Nerevar and the creation of the Tribunal, or during the events of the Oblivion crisis as a backdrop for the dissolution of the region's religion and cultural background. I would play that a lot.

So one thing I have to remind myself of continually is that leaving town requires preparation. I can occasionally cast a restore health spell, but i'm stuck with making restore fatigue potions, and have to buy magicka potions. The Caldera Mages Guild had some provisions, but no beds to rest in. I had to buy overpriced potions from the alchemist there. This game pushes back at the player in interesting ways at the beginning, and talking to townsfolk frequently results in hearing advice on the scrolls or potions one should bring on the road. They're not wrong.

After handily taking care of Fighter's Guild business near the Caldera Ebony Mine (and casually freeing some slaves right under the mine's guards' noses) I decided to head to Ald'Ruhn The road was full of cliff racers, netches, with the occasional shalk. My marksmanship is slowly but surely increasing after lobbing dozens of arrows and darts at flying enemies. I encountered yet another nude man on the road, telling a similar story to Hlormar. He was completely paralyzed. I had neither the spell nor the potion to help him, so I awkwardly left him standing there. Perhaps I made a mistake earlier with Hlormar.

Still, the journey was taking its toll. Around midnight, I wandered into an ash storm. All I could see were faint shapes of creatures in my vicinity.
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/vng3HOC.jpg)

I eventually made it to Ald'Ruhn, and collapsed in a Mages Guild bed. In the morning find more work with the Guild, speak with the last Blades trainer I need to make contact with, and see if House Redoran will take my service.
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/KF41uNl.jpg)

House Redoran is my favorite. I've played through the quests for all of the Great Houses, but House Redoran more than the others.

You might already know, but both the fighter's guild and mage's guild has equipment chests in their main locations (except Caldera I think), and they refill them periodically. Each has potions as part of the standard stock and you can take whatever contents are there if you are a member of those guilds.

PaladinTom wrote:
beanman101283 wrote:

It may be good and interesting in its own right (and I hope it is) but I wanted that original experience I had years ago.

Agreed. It's just that I've spent so many hours in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim that I feel I owe it to myself to try something "new."

I almost wish that a team could recreate the map/structures etc, and then turn it over as a sandbox of sorts for people to create new quest/story-based mods.

A while back there was a group of modders trying to create all of Tamriel at the scale of Morrowind, using the tool kit.

You have to admire a lofty goal like that, seriously.

The trouble with vast projects like that is they take so long. By the time they are coming to anything, the rest of the world have moved on technologically, and it's harder for the masses to go backwards.

Really enjoying seeing your updates beanman. Maybe watching the game through your eyes means I can put off thinking about doing the same myself

bekkilyn wrote:

House Redoran is my favorite. I've played through the quests for all of the Great Houses, but House Redoran more than the others.

You might already know, but both the fighter's guild and mage's guild has equipment chests in their main locations (except Caldera I think), and they refill them periodically. Each has potions as part of the standard stock and you can take whatever contents are there if you are a member of those guilds.

My first time through I joined Hlaalu, though I remember very little of it. Maybe Redoran will be more memorable.

I was on the lookout for a supply chest at the Caldera guild, but there were none. As soon as I got the Ald'Ruhn Mages Guild, I saw a supply chest directly to the left. I guess Caldera doesn't warrant the full support of the Guild.

I've noticed that, having moved from Seyda Neen to Pelagiad, Pelagiad to Balmora, Balmora to Caldera, and now Caldera to Ald'Ruhn, that I can't just merrily hop from city to city like I can in Oblivion or Skyrim. I haven't used fast travel yet, but the outside world is a dangerous place. At my low level, I'm quaffing potions like mad, and my equipment deteriorates rapidly. This means I'm frequently getting to a new city, resupplying and resting, picking up a few quests, then having to return to the city after doing one or two of them because enemies and encounters are so tough right now.

I like this quite a bit, as it forces me to immerse myself in a city for a longer amount of time than I probably otherwise would. I have multiple opportunities to explore shops, inns, and unlocked houses. I see things I missed the first or second time through the city. The slow movement speed and the frequent visits makes the world feel bigger than it obviously is. Obviously you visit cities multiple times in subsequent games, but there's less forcing you to plan ahead when you venture out, and it's no real issue to casually stroll from Solitude to Riften in Skyrim at the beginning.

I've reached level 10 now, and I'm thinking that once I finish up in Ald'Ruhn I may begin the main quest in earnest. However, my route through Vvardenfell has currently been dictated by the tasks laid out before me so far, so those plans are likely to change.

EDIT: I notice that on my work monitor, those screenshots are incredibly dark. Apologies if those basically look like black screens for some of you.

Those screenshots were quite dark to me.

And I'm basically gonna say *cough* to this thread.

I tried to play Morrowind on my roommate's Xbox and found it impenetrable way back in the Long Long Ago. Didn't get into the Elder Scrolls series until Oblivion.

Starting to see the light at the end of the Fallout 4 tunnel, and having already played a metric butt-ton of Obliv, Skyrim, F03, and New Vegas, that leaves coming back to scary ol' Morrowind if I want to keep this Bethesda train rolling, which I kind of do.

Any advice for a Bethesda vet but Morrowind newbie?

Morrowind Graphics Overhaul or Morroblivion?

Mechanics overhauls to modernize the game? I'm not looking for any kind of purist run-through, I just want to experience the story and the world.

General, non-spoiler-y guidelines for character build and where-to-go-what-to-do?

I want to finally replay and finish Morrowind this year, and would love a quick and dirty summary of the truly essential mods -- not concerned with adding content, more interest in bugfixes, expanded/balanced core content, and modernizing the presentation and interface as much as is reasonable.

Well, I found a step-by-step modding guide on YouTube by someone who 1.) seems to know what he's talking about, 2.) is able to clearly articulate what he's talking about, 3.) knows how to use a microphone and screen capture / video editing software, and 4.) made the video in the last year, so the info is likely to be mostly up-to-date. That's rare!

So far the mod loadout he recommends seems to be working out well enough. Besides bugfixes and graphical updates, the biggest change seems to be the Oblivion-like Combat mod, which raises everyone's hit rate to 100%, makes it so that weapon skill affects damage instead of hit percentage, and introduces a timed blocking mechanic and sprinting, alongside some miscellaneous balance changes to make all of the above work together without making the game either stupid hard or stupid easy. It does make the game more than a bit harder, so it's recommended that you crank down the difficulty setting a couple notches, which I did after getting killed by some rats in the first Fighter's Guild quest.

Question: what is the point of ranking up in factions? Other than a spiffy title, what does it get you? I'm apparently a Journeyman in the FIghter's Guild now, but it doesn't appear to affect what quests they're giving me.

Edit: Also, where's a good place to stash your stuff in Balmora? Do any of the guilds have containers that don't reset?

Having to dig deep in memory banks, but I seem to remember the crates outside the shops in the commercial district.

As for factions, I guess it's just like any other RPG, it's just quest-lines to go through, enjoy and use them to rank up and get lootz.

It's been a good while since I modded/played Morrowind, and the last time I did I found it harder to go back to than ever before. I guess modded Skyrim is really taking hold as the only Elder Scrolls option for me (other than ESO, but that's a different bottle of skooma). Unless of course Skywind completes their goal, in which case [email protected] all over that.

GOAT for me, definitely in with this thread, it will probably make me want to play it again.

I think I'll get some mods in place, graphics definitely and also one to help the mess that was the quest log.

Hbi2k, you're making me really, really want to dive back into my favorite Elder Scrolls game...

Seems like this should go here.

Keith Ballard a Youtuber I like is playing Morrowind on his channel as the fan chosen game.

If you get that itch to play it but can't for some reason head over and watch!

Tagging! The nexus is going to make modding Morrowind so much easier this time around. Really looking forward to it.
Very awesome to find all you fine folks who are similarly minded and enjoy House Redoran over the others. Maybe I'll try something new this time around though, we'll see.

Wow, who knew this was a thing. I'm tempted to give this a go. I finally finished a Skyrim game last year, and moving backward to Morrowind or Oblivion would be pretty cool. I even noticed that Daggerfall can work too, and there is a Daggerfall Unity effort that's still making gradual progress.

That install guide video for Morrowind looks very thorough, and would make getting things running pretty straightforward.

A friend was streaming Daggerfall the other day, which put me in the mood for Morrowind. So I once again rolled a new character, and we'll see how far I get this time. Playing a Bosmer Archer this time around, since I've never really played around with ranged weapons in this game.

I spent maybe an hour total getting mods set up (Code Patch + Graphics Extender, Better Bodies/Heads, Morrowind Texture Pack), then spent another hour doing quests around Seyda Neen and clearing out the smuggler's cave. I have some decent gear now, so I'll start ambling toward Balmora next.

I would actually like to finish a replay of this one day, and play the expansions. My last full playthrough was back in 2005ish, so it's been a while.

I've made far more progress this time around than any of my past attempts at a replay. I've explored the vast majority of Vivec, and been as far east as Molag Mar, and north to Ald'ruhn. I've joined the majority of factions in the game, the most recent of which is House Redoran. I joined Hlaalu on my initial playthrough, so it'll be fun to see a different side of the game.

The things that are special about this game still hold up. The writing and world-building are so effective at creating a sense of place and, more importantly, history. I love how quickly the factions send you to screw over the others due to how they've all gotten entangled in local politics. So far I've been able to juggle them all without getting myself expelled from any, but we'll see how long that lasts. I was pleasantly surprised that you could accept jobs from faction members in other cities - it's not necessarily a linear progression through their quests.

The factions and competing motivations all come together to make this feel like a very adult game. This isn't some simplistic save the world scenario with generic villains and monologues. Morrowind is a grim place with stoic people, which makes the occasional humor stand out all the more. Building up your character and reputation in the world feels a lot more earned than other RPGs I've played.

beanman101283 wrote:

So far I've been able to juggle them all without getting myself expelled from any, but we'll see how long that lasts.

One of my most vivid Morrowind memories was when the Mage’s Guild sent me to find a Telvanni mole and my reaction was “Oh, #%]+, they’re on to me.”

But it turned out that my character wasn’t the double agent they were looking for after all.

misplacedbravado wrote:
beanman101283 wrote:

So far I've been able to juggle them all without getting myself expelled from any, but we'll see how long that lasts.

One of my most vivid Morrowind memories was when the Mage’s Guild sent me to find a Telvanni mole and my reaction was “Oh, #%]+, they’re on to me.”

But it turned out that my character wasn’t the double agent they were looking for after all. :D

Hah! That would have been great if they'd built that scenario into the quest. Alas.

The trickiest thing I've run into so far is that a Thieves Guild quest in Ald'ruhn has made the local Mages Guild inaccessible to me. My sneak skills aren't yet good enough to enter through the front door without the guard inside seeing and attacking me on sight. It occurs to me, though, that perhaps I could use a guild guide in Balmora or Vivec to transport me inside the Ald'ruhn Mages Guild... Hmmm.

I was going to attempt to transport into the Ald'ruhn Mages Guild, but in classic Elder Scrolls fashion got distracted by a ton of other things.

I had my first job for House Redoran, which involved putting down some murderous mudcrabs. Finding the woman who requested the job, then finding the mudcrabs themselves, took an inordinate amount of time. Once I reported back on my success, I got a job to deliver a potion to Ald Velothi, north of Gnisis. I already had a couple quests in Gnisis, and was planning to join the Imperial Legion there, so figured I'd head north and take care of all that in one go.

I was following the roads north, checking the signs to make sure I was going in the right direction, yet somehow I never found a road that actually led into Gnisis. Eventually I was so far north I though I may as well go directly to Ald Velothi first. Then I came across a guy on the side of the road whose wife had been taken by cultists to the nearby Daedric shrine. I agreed to try to rescue her.

Daedric dungeons are some of the most intimidating places in the game for me, due to my experiences first playing the game 15 years ago. But, with only a few reloads, I managed to make my way in, clear out the dungeon, and rescue the woman trapped inside. I was happy to be able to pull it off.

My this time I was even further north, and just decided to check out the town of Khuul. Khuul has the boat that takes you to Solsteim for the Bloodmoon expansion. There are rumors of smugglers nearby, as well as a family tomb I want to check out. I ended the night there.

Eventually I'll get to Gnisis...