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January 5th, 2008, 12:16
That depends on what kind of gaming experience you're after/prefer.

The type of gaming that Sorcha is describing seems to be the kind where you go into a gaming world and make up your own kind of gaming session, e.g. take out your frustrations on the inhabitants and go on a killing spree or just stroll about enjoying the scenery or go monster hunting or whatever. Just being in the gaming world is more important than the reason for being there. In my opinion, this kind of gaming experience is often preferred by people who enjoy returning to the gaming world over and over during the course of months, perhaps even years.

The other kind of gaming experience is the one where you strap yourself in and go along for the ride. The reason for playing (i.e. story elements and quests) are what drives the player to continue. For example, you explore an area because you're looking for a certain plant for the local alchemist or a certain monster/bandit for the local bounty hunter guild, etc.

Both types of gaming experience contain the same gameplay elements but in the former YOU create your reason for being there and in the later THEY (the developers) created your reason for being there.

Morrowind is vast, fairly empty and populated by a huge population of more or less lifeless drones and a few quest giving NPCs. It is the perfect setting for creating your own kind of experience but you have to be creative because the game is more or less one huge sandbox with rather limited incentive to continue the main story (or any side story for that matter).

Oblivion, on the other hand, is packed with a staggering amount of vastly different quests, from tiny fed-ex type quests to huge undertakings, taking you all around the landmass. Some quests are of the fairly straight forward, well known type while others are truly surprising, both in terms of twists but also in their execution. In fact, there is so much to do in Oblivion, that I strapped myself in and went for a ride and I wasn't finished until more than 300+ hours later, and there was still plenty or ruins/caves left to explore.

So, the question you've got to ask yourself is this: Do you want to create your own kind of gaming experience or do you want to go for the ride the developers have prepared for you?

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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