The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Catch-All

One of my proudest moments in gaming was when I finally beat the main story of this game.

I've put a few hours into Bloodmoon now. After the claustrophobic confines of Tribunal, the island of Solstheim is a nice change of pace. It also, so far at least, feels like a completely separate adventure from Morrowind and Tribunal's epilogue. Thematically though, it echoes Morrowind. This is about the Empire trying to establish a new colony on the island, and the impact that has on the local Nord Skaal tribe. Morrowind itself had a lot about how the Empire was an unwelcome presence, and how many factions were devoted to throwing the Empire out. The parallel quest lines I've done so far involve helping the native tribe out while investigating a werewolf attack, as well as helping to establish the ebony mine which will grow into the town of Raven Rock.

This definitely feels like proto-Skyrim at times. The dungeons in this area are ice caves and Nord barrows, both of which feature draugr prowling their halls. Pine forests, snowy landscapes, and ice flows make up the bulk of the island. Since this is supposedly an untamed wilderness, there are no roads or signs showing where anything is.

Due to this content being for high level characters, the number of enemies in the overworld and dungeons borders on the absurd. Packs of wolves, rieklings, reavers, spriggans, bears, etc., roam the area and it's difficult to get anywhere without aggroing several at once. On the plus side my Block, Unarmored, Light Armor, and Medium Armor skills are all ticking up again. I'm currently level 55 but still have a handful of class skills that haven't maxed out yet. Theoretically I think I could max out somewhere in the 60's or 70's but it's unlikely I'll get there.

I wrapped this up this weekend. Bloodmoon's two main quests completed: I escaped from Hircine's Hunt, and the colony of Raven Rock is set up to thrive as best it can in the frontier. I'm tempted to load up an old Skyrim save and run around Solstheim to see what changed and what's the same. The final dungeon of Bloodmoon's main quest was absurdly difficult. I guess they needed a real challenge for really high level characters. I ended up running through it at full speed to just to get out. The final boss fight wasn't anything too difficult, though. The expansion overall was a lot of fun, and a nice change of pace. It's absolutely worth playing.

I came back to the base game and knocked out the last of the factions I had: the Tribunal Temple, the Mage's Guild, and the Morag Tong. The last one, I'd apparently already killed the leaders of the Dark Brotherhood in a previous quest and had no idea, so I got the final Morag Tong quest and immediately completed it. I finished the game at level 60, though I could have trained up my remaining skills to see how much further I could go. That didn't really seem necessary though. There are no more worlds left to conquer.

Morrowind was my first RPG back in 2005 or so, and I had no idea what I was getting into at the time. Somehow I stuck with it and fell in love. Finally doing a full replay the last couple months just makes me appreciate the game even more. There are very very few games that do world-building and plot as well and Morrowind does. Final Fantasy X comes to mind as a possible comparison. Disco Elysium is another. I'd love to find more, but I suspect there are few that really hit that level.

Your posts have been just such a treat, Beanman. Just wanted to say that.
I got into Morrowind after Oblivion, and only did one playthrough (which actually left me at the Ghostgate and didn't even take me to Tribunal or Solstheim, despite owning the DLCs), and yet... Morrowind has impacted more deeply than any other in the series.

Now THERE'S a game I'd love to see fully remastered.

Kicked off a playthrough of Morroblivion yesterday now that it is in good shape. Looks great and fantastic to be back doing those early quests I've done so many times before:)

One thing I've been struggling to articulate is the impact the conversation system has on the worldbuilding and your understanding of your place in it.

As I'm sure most of you know, NPCs have topics you can click through, most of which repeats between them. Different factions might have a slightly (or very) different take, but as you meet new characters, you learn you can quickly click through each topic to see if there's anything new. This could be new quests, brand new topics, or slightly different takes on subjects you've discussed prior. You click through, see if your journal has been updated, or if the topic list changes, and can quickly determine whether or not you need to spend time on what an NPC has to say.

The effect of this system is that even if you're just glancing through text after a short while, the repeated information reinforces your understanding of the world. You don't need to read every response word for word, but you still scan it quickly to see if anything's changed. You get a quick reminder that this is what a certain segment of the population feels about a topic, and that knowledge just keeps percolating in your brain while you're exploring or questing.

For whatever reason, that method of marinating in the world's background lore was really effective for me. It's been pointed out over the years that moving to fully voiced text in RPGs loses something compared to reading everything and this is a prime example. Background chatter in voiced games like Oblivion tries to make up for this, but it's not really the same.

Got to level 6, ready to speak to Ashlanders and have risen in a few guilds including House Redoran. Planned to get a stronghold and rise in Redoran and mage/fighters before cracking on with the MQ. Valhalla's here now so it might be a while before I pick this up again.

Quick note on Morroblivion though, excellent piece of work. The feel is there and the scenery is well imagined, it helps the music is the same though. The only issue has been crashing before fast travel regularly so a quick save and it's all good.
A nice improvement on the original without sacrificing anything IMO.