Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Guess I'm Playing Morrowind Now

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and I go way back. All the way back to 2002, and its release, as a matter of fact. I had just gotten a sweet (for the time) new Sony Vaio laptop--that, get this, you could separate the main section from the base docking station/disc drive--and was looking to explore my favorite gaming genre, the RPG, on this hot new platform. Little did I know, it had next to zero video memory, and the best I could get the game to run was at probably 10 FPS at 400x200 with minimum settings. Needless to say, I didn't get a whole lot of questing done at the time, though not for lack of trying.

I had tried installing the game on subsequent computers I encountered, but always met with either similarly poor performance results or a lack of time to really dig into the game. I even briefly had the game running on my current PC, modded, a few years back, but did not follow through on actually playing it very much probably due to playing WoW or something. I think I did a complete OS update and re-install since then, as well. 

Fast forward to the present, and having just finished up New Vegas, and not wanting to dive into its DLC just yet, I had almost out of nowhere a hankering to play Morrowind. I couldn't explain why, but I decided to roll with it, found the best suite of modernization overhaul mods, and got started. I decided I wanted to play a stealthy character, and so I created a thief and got started in on the Thieves' Guild quests. So far, so good. I'm five or six quests in, and still level 1, though, so I'm a bit worried about venturing out into the countryside around the town I've found myself in, Al'duruhk or some such, a desert town, by the looks of things. This is by far the deepest I've made it into Morrowind. I think it'll take, this time. 

I am enjoying the keyword-centered dialogue system, as well as the greater lengths the player has to go to just to find out where to go and what should be done to best complete the current quest. Later Bethesda games, of course, made it trivialized that process with the ever-present map marker. I'm torn on whether I prefer it to be there or not. I feel like not having it forces the player to invest more in the world to puzzle out where they should go, but at times you don't want to play the guessing game and just want to know what stupid thing in the environment needs to have 'E' pushed on it in order to carry on.

I found, with Oblivion, that I enjoyed the game more if I rolled a new character for each guild's quest line, so that I could tailor their build around what I thought my play style would have to end up being for that part of the game. I may end up doing that for Morrowind, too. Or perhaps use the same character for the equivalent of the Dark Brotherhood as for the Thieves' Guild, and then if I roll up others, pick whichever I like the best to run the main quest line with.

Much remains to be determined about my playing Morrowind. I'm not feeling very antsy about moving on to much else, though, at least not until July 25th, and the release of Shadowrun Returns (which I backed on Kickstarter, and looks really cool). Maybe I'll make this an RPG-focused summer.

No comments: