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Forums > Submission Feedback > Lewis's The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind review

This thread is in response to a review for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: August 06, 2008 (02:14 PM)
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You know, I really, really, really like this game. A lot. It's like my favorite game of all time, and as such, I want to talk some things with you.

Firstly, out of curiosity, is the PAL version all that different? I was reading your account of stealing that guy's stuff, which I've done several times in my games. But to me, he's known as the wood elf Faroth or some such.

There are other things I was reading in here, too. your experience sounds a lot different than mine in some places. For one, I've never had an issue making money. Did you know there's a Scamp in Caldera who'll buy almost anything from you for full price and has 5000 gold in his inventory? He's awesome. It's like getting money the cheap way.

I'd also like to inquire how you "worked to save up" in Seyda Neen. Whenever I played, there really wasn't anyone there who'd give me a substantial award for any missions or whatever. Really, the only way to make money from the start is to steal everything in that one room where you start out and sell it. Unless that's what you meant. Haha.

Character dispositions aren't random, or at least they weren't for me. Most everyone generally dislikes you at the beginning, but like you more as your reputation and personality increase. There's one House that'll totally despise you halfway through the game for some reason, but that's about the only inconsistency I had with it.

Did you really get a kindly greeting from returning to Balmora after stealing that potion? That's amazing. Usually when I commit offenses, my bounty's announced throughout the entire island and everyone knows I've done wrong so no matter where I go, guards will try to apprehend me. But it's usually no big deal since the fines are usually cheap. I just hate when they take all your stolen stuff - especially when not all the stole stuff was really stolen.

I never had any issues with how skills worked, either. I always tried to be realistic about it. I know I could boost some by just doing really easy tedious stuff, but always liked to boost them the more traditional way. Like jumping only when you really need to jump and stuff.

I wonder if any of these differences have anything to do with the regions or if it's just how we played the game... Either way, I still really enjoy this one. And I hope to review it some day, too, when I feel I can do it justice. The game's really too epic not to.

You did an alright job of it, though. I loved your intro - it almost brought tears to my eyes, remembering what you were seeing and feeling your passion for it. But then you kind of lost that pasion in places and started sounding a bit too explainy, maybe even dry (makes me wonder if that's what others mean about my writing being dry at times). And that description about 10/10 scores and what not seemed kind of superfluous, and kind of detracted from the review as a whole. At least to me. I liked your examples, though; that's where I really felt how you felt about the game. Still a good job.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: dagoss
Posted: August 06, 2008 (02:35 PM)
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This is the PC version -- region doesn't matter.

Personally, I could never give this game a 10/10 out-of-box. It is filled with bugs, it randomly crashes on most systems, the graphics are glitchy, the writing is terrible, etc. The product Bethesda released is atrocious and clearly not finished. However, community-made mods and patches can fix many issues and add new features. Therefore, I'm not sure how I would score the game. Unpatched, unmodded, I think I'd give it a 6. Modded, I'd give it a 10 -- but does it really deserve a ten since the community had to do most of the work?


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: August 06, 2008 (02:49 PM)
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Oh, right. I forgot about that.

Hm... I didn't really have that many issues with it when I played it. I agree that it does crash a lot... I thought it was just our disk, until the new one we bought started doing it, too. Granted, it doesn't do it as much as the other one did, but maybe that has something to do with being the game of the year addition.

As for glitches, the only I've encountered were ones where I'd fall through the floor and can't get out or I'd get stuck on something, but those are rare and overall not that bad.

I thought the plot and writing were great - or at lesat when contextualized with the fact that they give you so much freedom. That freedom is amazing, and I love how they made the world as in-depth as they did. They even gave it it's own history. How many RPGs - or any other game for that matter - write whole books describing past history and putting it into a game for you to read at your leisure?


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: Lewis
Posted: August 07, 2008 (04:39 AM)
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Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

The thing I found about Morrowind was that it sucks you in incredibly well to the universe despite a lot of obvious shortcomings.

Notably, I experienced very few crashes or game-destroying bugs, and I've played through four or five times now.

The guards in Balmora still tracked me down, yes, but that initial greeting from someone I'd become friendly with still evoked such emotion that it seemed a shame to spoil the illusion by ending the review with "but then I got thrown into prison." I think the overall point I was trying to make, through giving the 'my little moments' examples, was that Morrowind feels more like a living, breathing experience than a game per se, and I hate using the word 'experience' usually. I wanted to draw out sections from the game that really created such an illusion that, just for a while, I was away from my room in rainy Leeds and in the wonderful, imaginitive world Bethesda had created.

I didn't have a lot of trouble making money, but on those occasions when I did, and couldn't necessarily be bothered to take on another side-quest, that was the sort of thinking it forced upon me. Do I risk walking, or do I spend my last pennies on the Strider? This was especially apparent early on when I spent most of my time simply exploring, rather than playing the quests as such.

With regards to the 10/10 thing... the discussion of that was more because I knew many people would disagree because, as I admitted, the game does have problems. I wanted to ensure everybody understood why I had put the game down in quite a few areas, yet still felt it warranted the top score. Morrowind isn't a universally-acclaimed game, and my opinion of it is, I know, higher than a lot of other people's. But even given these flaws, it remains one of the most fabulous games I've ever played. See also my review of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, which drops a mark not because of any gameplay or bug problems, which it does have, but because of some uninspired level design in the latter third of the game.

Thanks for reading and discussing.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: December 15, 2008 (05:43 PM)
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Hilariously late update:

Shit, yes, it's Fargoth, not Jiub. Jiub's the Silt Strider guy. Feel free to edit, someone.


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: December 15, 2008 (06:06 PM)
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Haha. Have you started playing the game again and noticed that, or did you just read through the review/topic again?

It really is a fun game, though, yeah.

I actually feel somewhat bad for not saying anything after your response there, but I really had nothing else to say to that. Same as with any time I do something like that.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: Halon
Posted: December 15, 2008 (06:27 PM)
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Everyone seems to love this game but it bored me to death. So much traveling to accomplish so little. That and the combat was awful.

EDIT: I agree with 10 not having to be flawless. I would probably give Half-Life 2 a 9 (or maybe a 10 on a very, very good day) but it had as many flaws as some 7's do. It's just that in the end aside from the difficulty none of them mattered anymore.


IF YOU WANT MORE BEATS FOR YOUR BUCK THERE'S NO LUCK.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 16, 2008 (01:32 AM)
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Sportsman, as usual, I agree with you completely, on both fronts.

But more specifically to this review... Morrowind bored me to tears. I still don't get what everyone loves about the game. Yeah, the opening takes your breath away. But after I'd played it for a couple hours, I was breathing just fine.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 16, 2008 (01:34 AM)
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That said, were I to review it, I would probably drop it a 6 or 7. It's not poorly made, and it does what it sets out to do... it just doesn't particularly grab me.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Lewis
Posted: December 16, 2008 (02:17 AM)
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Review a title for what it is, not what you wish it was.

Morrowind has more atmosphere than any other straight RPG I've ever played. Including Fallout 3. I don't know why it did grab me particularly... I was just wholly unaccustomed for a game like that. I picked up Morrowind having not heard a lot of pre-release stuff about it and knowing sod-all about Bethesda. But I was reading PC Zone's UK exclusive review, in which they awarded it the highest score they'd given since Deus Ex, so snapped it up immediately.

And it just blew me away - aptly, more than anything since Deus Ex. Simply marvellous thing. Still love it.

Might install it today actually.

I quite like this review, reading it now, but I wish I could turn back time and not faff about with that bit about scores. As WQ says, it's a bit silly.


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: December 16, 2008 (11:20 AM)
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We should swap Scrolls one day; I'll do Morrowind and you do Oblivion.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 16, 2008 (11:25 AM)
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Currently, I'm doing Oblivion! Or will be in 30-45 minutes when I get out of the office!

I'm wandering around the Imperial City trying to find out about some shady businessman undercutting the prices of the other stores. Picking the lock to his shop and searching (with a minor bit o' theft for my troubles) hasn't helped me.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: December 16, 2008 (11:30 AM)
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You need to wait until he leaves his shop at closing time and tail him.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: December 16, 2008 (11:45 AM)
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I'd love to review Oblivion, but there are already two staff reviews up. Might be a blog thing.


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: December 16, 2008 (04:29 PM)
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Not every review has to fill a gap in the staff coverage. Not every review has to be staff. Sometimes, it's fun to just write for yourself. And slate Doom 3.

Yeah, let's all slate Doom 3.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: December 16, 2008 (04:31 PM)
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My review of Doom 3:

"Yeah, it's alright, I guess."


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: December 16, 2008 (04:55 PM)
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That's not slating -- it's mild indifference.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: December 16, 2008 (05:26 PM)
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Probably because it's nowhere near as bad as you make out, while also being nowhere near as good as the idiot majority suggested.

I actually really enjoyed Doom 3 for about four hours. Then it just repeated the same tactic every room and grew incredibly dull.


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: December 16, 2008 (07:23 PM)
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EmP: If you ever get Morrowind (though I thought you already had it on the Xbox), you should get it for PC because that way you can get the awesome expansions for it. >_>

EDIT: Also, answer your HG mail.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 16, 2008 (10:53 PM)
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EmP, actually humorously, if it's your active quest and he's in the garden area where he meets with his source, the green arrow will lead you to him. I've taken his quest to the source's house. And then got sidetracked a gazillion times over the 9-hour session I put in today which saw me do some good work in Chorrol and slowly progress to the Che---something city in the east for another quest and because I can get Fighter's Guild work there.

QUESTION: Is the fact I really struggle against Goblin Skirmishers (Fort Ash stockade on the way to Chorrol and part of the family farm invaded by monsters) and that fucking Highwayman near Ash Fort something to worry about or just kinda growing pains before your character gets better at various skills? Because I'm 0/1 against that Highwayman and have never beaten a Skirmisher without a good deal of help.

I can see why people say the dungeon designs get old eventually, but so far, this is the most immersing game I've played. Utterly incredible. I went from a 3-wave battle with goblins at a farm to doing an Encyclopedia Brown mystery in a castle to find a stolen painting. And then got hell from an invisible rat after talking to invisible people in a village. And then hung out with a patrolling guard to induce him to kill a few local bandit-types hanging around some ruins. Simply killer.

QUESTION II: Do monsters ever regenerate or is there a finite number in areas (at least areas that aren't quest oriented)? Wondering because when I go from one part of an area to another and back, I see dead creature bodies on the floor and no new ones in the vicinity.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: December 17, 2008 (01:39 AM)
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The Morrowind GotY edition includes the expansions and is available on the Xbox. Just FYI.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Lewis
Posted: December 18, 2008 (08:10 AM)
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I've actually been playing Oblivion all day now, with the view of reviewing the thing.


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: December 18, 2008 (02:01 PM)
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I'm an inspiration.


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