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January 16th, 2008, 20:46
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
The way I see it is that Bethesda listened to the criticism they got for Morrowind regarding the issue I mentioned earlier, that about halfway through the game, you're basically invincible and even Golden Saints and Deadra are but kittens for you to kick around as you see fit. The level scaling system was the result and though certainly not perfect, it is a step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned.

Even though the punishment for not picking a combat style and developing it increases as you level up, the level scaling still manages to provide the player with a challenge for much longer than Morrowind did. Sure, by the end you're still pretty much untouchable but that is the same for most RPGs and it took a lot longer to get to that point this time around.

The loot problem is indeed a valid point. In my case, I leveled pretty slowly so by the time every highway man was wearing Glass Armour I had already collected my complete set and the abundance of costly loot is outweighed by the limitations of the stock you need to buy, like arrows. All of the unique items in the game are pretty much quest items, so they are not really affected by this issue and the only other really valuable loot are the portal hearts which you use to enhance your armour/weapons and since there is one per portal, they are not affected either.

Then again I solve quests for the solving's sake, not the reward/loot in the end, so that is probably also a reason why it didn't really bother me much.
I think the main point here is that you're ROLEPLAYING and it makes it a bit hard to swallow the fact that bandits living in caves are walking around in really expensive armor.

Not only that but bandits AND other NPCs (notably Imperial Guards) can kick your butt so why is it that YOU'RE running around by your self trying to stop this evil.

Forgetting the stupidity of the plot/writing, this just sucks the fun out of exploration, combat, levelling.

You don't get the same sense of accomplishment when levelling because everything else is levelling with you - no matter where you go the stakes are the same. Going through a tough dungeon to find the same level appropriate armor and a few septim? Bleh.

Morrowind handled this better for roleplaying - I think if you just ran around completing your quests as normally as possible and doing the occasional cave plunder as opposed to going out of your way to fight anything you could just to level (not to mention using trainers) then the challenge was there fairly well into the game. And the expansion packs bumped the difficulty up as well - as long as you didn't powerlevel by the time you started them.

Oblivion did have a more enjoyable combat system and as screwed (and comedic at times) as the Radiant AI system is it was still better than NPCs standing around ALL DAY in the same spot talking to themselves in MW.

I have witnessed a few cool things in Oblivion such as coming upon a bandit fighting a guard in the middle of nowhere. And having guards patrolling OUTSIDE of cities also added a nice touch. There were also some minor improvements in stealth and the archery system as well.

And although the setting is bland the graphics are impressive, moreso than MW was at release.

In the end though, Morrowind wins for me for having a more interesting setting, political & social intrigue, the whole "stranger in a strangeland" dynamic, and more factions. Even with all it's shortcomings the world just felt more substantial and real - you really did feel like you were in another world. Oblivion just screamed GAME with it's generic Medeival fantasy world, all the text pop ups, the "radar" and other things.

What killed the feeling of a real world most for me in Oblivion besides the architecture was Bethesda using several voices for the same NPC and only having a few voice actors (none of them very good) to begin with.

They should remake Morrowind and it's expansions using the Oblivion graphics engine (minus the horrible UI) but some of the better looking facial models from modders, voicing all the characters (using more than 5 actors, for the love of all that's good - and stop using friends/family!!!) improving the difficulty/challenge and removing 90% of the Cliff Racer population.
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