Morrowind - First impressions

By Demiurg
Jun 6, 2002
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  1. Very hyped before it's release (see my former post for example), Morrowind has received a lot of rave reviews as well. I bought it a couple of days ago and here's my first impressions.

    General
    Morrowind is the sequel to the Daggerfall-series, which means nothing to me, as the only RPG:s I've played are Baldurs Gate and Icewind Dale. It's a hardcore RPG with infinite possibilities regarding character creation, attributes, spell making etc. It's also extremely openended and non-linear, set in a huge 3D-world which is basically out there for you to discover in total freedom. You play it from a firstpersonperspective (or third) and the world is seamless รก la Dungeon Siege, meaning no load screens while walking around (although it freezes for a second when it loads the scenery in the background). Another selling point is the editor, which comes with the game and presumably will lead to a plethora of plug-ins and new scenarios/settings.

    Performance
    If there ever was a game in need of a 3DSpotlight Tweak Guide, this is it. Morrowind is very demanding and has at the same time a somewhat peculiar engine which is rather hard to tweak. The difference between running it at 1024x768 and 1600x1200, for example, is almost neglible. I have a XP +1900, Geforce 2 GTS 64 MB DDR, 256 MB DDR SDRAM and get appr. 20 fps in landscapes, 30-50 indoors and dipping down to as low as 10 fps in the cities, with everything maxed out at 1600x1200@32. It feels smooth, generally, except in the cities, but as I said - lowering the resolution etc. doesn't make it a whole lot better, so I'd rather stay at 1600x1200, as it looks great. I think 1 GHZ+ and Geforce 2+ is recommended to run it satisfactorily. I've also read a lot about bugs leading to crashes to the desktop etc., but for me it has been completely stable thus far.

    Graphics
    A lot of TLC has been put into the world of Morrowind, which is breathtakingly beautiful at times. In fact, I'd go so far to say the gameworld really is a work of art, although I've only seen appr. 0.01% of it so far. Everything from flowers, buildings, landscapes, to the day/night-cycle, skies (with 2 moons at night) and weather effects are solid, beautiful and contributes to a very immersive experience. It was very cool just to walk at leasure from the start village, through woods, over some hills, while the sun was setting, and stumble upon a small village I didn't know existed. The models of NPC's and monsters are a mixed bag - some are great, some adequate and a couple of ones looks just corny. Taking away from the immersiveness is the fact that most characters just stand around. The bars in Morrowind-land are really boring, with five guests standing apart, silent, doing nothing 24/7...

    Gameplay
    As I am a FPS-addict my approach to Morrowind is to get cool weapons/spells and kill lots of monsters. But as you start out very weak and without experience this can be a frustrating experience. Even killing a rat is a difficult task from the start. Also, the slow movement of the character feels frustrating coming from Quake-land. Fighting with weapons are admittedly not as satisfying as in, say, Rune. The slowness means that you really can't dodge and run around very much while fighting. That said, my last experience, clearing out an eerie tomb, was very exciting - fighting cool-looking skeletons, ghosts and some kind of zombies, using a mix of spells and weaponry. On forums the general complaint is that the game is to easy when you are levelled up, so I guess the experience will be quite different when I'm more powerful. Just don't expect the perfect control of a FPS, as the fighting is more like Diablo II (I guess, never having played it) in FPS-disguise.
    Can't comment on quests really, as I've just cleared out some dungeons and the like and haven't started the main quest or side quests proper yet.

    Conclusion
    I have a propensity for being over-enthusiastic in the beginning of games, but then loose interest of them completely and suddenly. That said, Morrowind is certainly the most exciting game I've played this year. I'm bored with FPS:s right now, as they are all the same, and I was longing for a new experience, but set in a 3D-world, playing from a first person perspective. Morrowind seems to be exactly what I was looking for. It will certainly be considered a classic just considering the realization of the huge 3D-world. The openness leads to a gameplay experience which is hard to describe, but very immersive and addictive. I will post a followup when I've learned more about my new homeworld.
  2. Demiurg

    Demiurg Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Wish You Were Here

    Oh, and here I am, posing in my new helmet.
    Zalmoxes, the High Elf Battlemage, prepared for another rat duel.

    [​IMG]
  3. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Argh must resist call of the wild.... Must not buy Morrowind.... Must not weaken....

    If I fail my exams, i'll hold you guys responsible !!! ;)
  4. Spliffmeister

    Spliffmeister TechSpot Paladin Posts: 527

    i'm sold.... now where did i put that credit card ;)

    nothing like a bit of total immersion....
  5. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 875

    How do you think it will transition to a console rpg? Its coming out for the Xbox on Friday...
  6. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,199

    You hold me responsible for everything so it doesn't really matter anyway :p

    I'm not the ball and chain gamer, ie: I'm not actually into RPGs and all their glory. I've played a few and liked them but not actually delved into that realm. My question is:

    Do you think it's good enough to make me a believer?
  7. Demiurg

    Demiurg Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 86

    No idea really. The interface is easy and simple and should switch over quite nicely I guess - and as there is no Quakish need for zenlike mouseabilities movement-control should also function adequately. Don't know how they'll solve the plug-in/custom scenarios thingy, which I think will give the PC-version replayability/longevity.

    Check the official forums for more info as my knowledge of consoles equals nil. ;)
  8. Demiurg

    Demiurg Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 86

    I wish I could give a straight answer. I'm not into RPG:s either, but I'm completely sucked into Morrowind right now. But it's more of a lifestyle than a game really... Today I walked around a whole day (sunrise to sunset) [appr. 1 hour RL] looking for a NPC I couldn't find and it was perfectly cool. The bottomline is it's a gorgeous world with infinite possibilities, but not an instant gratifying actiongame. I've only played a couple of days and I guess the action part thus far is 1/10:th of the experience and 9/10:ths are used to walk around, buying/selling stuff, talking to people and such stuff.
    However, if you're fascinated by virtual worlds (as I am), has a good rig and money to spare I recommend it wholeheartedly as one of the most impressive gameworlds created yet if nothing else.
    But led me evade the question a couple of days - perhaps I'll be bored with it by then...
  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,289   +262

    OMG you had better have one hell of a system if you plan on buying this. I think it runs like crap on my system (any I'm sure I've rubbed it in enough times how well everything else plays on it.) I never tried running it at 1600 like you though, because I started in the city and it ran so poorly I never played it again. Since you say that it runs better outside of the city I may give it another try - but not today.

    LNCPapa
  10. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,199

    Papa! Which system? Not that XP 2100+ rig!

    It would probably go OK on my machine, Even though this game sounds like a resource pig. I haven't had many problems with any of the games I have now.

    This really sounds like a type of game worth trying. I've never actually played a game like this, besides maybe Deus Ex. I'm definitely going to buy the game, only thing is when & when I'm going to play it...getting home at 6:30pm doesn't help much. (Believe it or not I don't have a job...work...hehe...I'm only 14 :p)
  11. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,289   +262

    Yes Veh - it runs poorly on my XP 2100 on KT333 mobo w/ G4 Ti4400 video card. :(

    I wish it wasn't so - plus I heard it runs pretty crappy on the X-Box as well.

    LNCPapa
     
  12. Demiurg

    Demiurg Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 86

    That's ridiculous of course. It is the cities that are worst. When I said that the difference between 1024x768 and 1600x1200 is "neglible" it's not completely true. If it dips down to 10 fps in 1600, it's somewhere around 13-14 in 1024, which is a 30-40 % increase. Problem is that it doesn't matter as it's still very jerky.

    Interiors run smoothly, but considering the graphics there look somewhat akin to the original Unreal, it still runs very bad compared to better optimized engines.

    That said, I'm even more impressed by the game now. It's a masterpiece with unprecedented width and depth. It's not perfect, but perfection is impossible on this scale and I really am in awe of it's almost hubrislike ambitions.
  13. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    LOL! Awesome optimizing, Bethesda Softworks!
  14. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    I'm such a weakling. On my way back from work I saw it in the store right across the street.



    I bought it.:dead:


    Pray that I don't install it...
  15. Demiurg

    Demiurg Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Hehe. If you do, you should use the NOCD-patch (note: it's not illegal as you still need the CD, it just bypasses the SafeDisc-check.), as a lot of people have reported better performance and less mini stalls with it. Check this thread on TTLG Forums for links and info.
  16. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    I've played maybe one hour. Most of it was spent looking at the water & the sky.:eek:

    Performance isn't stellar but I can't complain so far ( sure it ain't Q3 style FPS performance but it's not 2 - 5 FPS ;) ).

    Hey Demiurg how can I see myself from facing ? If I switch to 3rd person veiw, I can only see myself from the back ( like Tombraider ).
  17. Spliffmeister

    Spliffmeister TechSpot Paladin Posts: 527

    hmmmm.... I installed it last night at about 6 pm wandered about a bit, killed a couple of rats :blackeye: and just looked at the scenery :eek: ..... all of a sudden it was 3am, aaaaarrrrrgh!! This cannot continue, I have (or at least did have) a life.... now I'm falling asleep infront of my PC at work.... Damn all you ppl who recommended this 'game'......;)
  18. Spliffmeister

    Spliffmeister TechSpot Paladin Posts: 527

    oh yeah, the reason I was posting in the first place. It is a demanding game, but you don't need the same frame rates as on Cs or other FPS's, not sure how many FPS i'm getting but its enough on my 1.4 Athlon with GF2 GTS and 512 SDRAM. I might have a look at that no CD thingly to see if my performance increases... look out for Spliffy's mod sometime soon ;) .
  19. Demiurg

    Demiurg Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 86

    If you press Tab while in 3:rd person view, you can admire yourself from all directions by using the mouse.

    BTW, I played 12 hours yesterday. :eek:
  20. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Here's a little site full of goodies -> Morrowind Files

    The MorrowindConfig program is very usefull to modify the Morrowind.ini file.

    Is anyone having problems getting to the official site ? :( -> Elder Scrolls
  21. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Hum the official site is working now. :confused:
  22. Tedman

    Tedman Newcomer, in training Posts: 61

    This Game Multi-Player?
  23. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Nope, this is SinglePlayer adventuring at its finest.:D
  24. Tedman

    Tedman Newcomer, in training Posts: 61

    Oh, Cheese... Not worth a failed exam if you ask me Didou. lol
  25. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Heh this week is cool though, the tough ones are next week. I'm hoping that before the weekend, I'll just come home & it'll be magically uninstalled.;)
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