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Default Morrowind - Diary Reboot @ RPS

June 23rd, 2009, 16:47
After a storm of comments about Alec Meer's mod selection for his Morrowind diary series, this second entry starts over with updated mod list. So, lots of tweaking…not much playing.
More information.

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June 23rd, 2009, 16:47
In my opinion, this "needed" amount of mods is just a sign of how little work was actually put into Morrowind from the developers, in terms of polishing.

Or, to cut it short : Bad quality.

The other side, of course, is, what isn't visible to the eyes …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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June 23rd, 2009, 17:03
I found a comment over there which seems to point at a deeper problem I haven't seen before :

There seems to be just a lack of … sense of what should be thrown together and what not.

It's a little bit like the infamous "10.000 flies cannot be wrong" argument about taste.

I hope I'm allowed to quote it here :


Wulf says:

And these pictures…

I realise why my whimperings about art-direction fall on deaf ears now, and I thought Alec would have known better. All you need is a basic grasp of visual cohesion, elements that fit, and how to put those elements together.

For example, in the first shot, thoe trees are correct, they’re a little barren but they’re swamp trees, and Seyda Neen is in a swampy area (lots of swamp in Morrowind in general)!

Look at this: http://www.wildnetga.org/albums/phot…p_PIC00006.jpg

The trees in Morrowind look a little barren by coomparison, but they still look like a very basic representation of the right kind of trees for that swampy atmosphere. They could do with a bit of fluffing up and prettying, but they are swamp trees. Bethesda is shit at some things, but they understand visual cohesion.

The latter shot…

It makes me want to whine and whimper, it really does. I mean, if I’m not mistaken, aren’t those the kinds of trees one finds in temperate ones? I may be stupid, and I’m sorry if I am… but it just doesn’t look like it fits at all.

And and and… the end result is that we have an image that looks like it’s filled with oak trees… oak trees with vines hanging between them.

fffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Doesn’t anyone else see that? The trunks are too wide.

I go on a lot of rampages about visual cohesion, most of you have probably seen one or two — such as how I twitch and cower at the lack thereof in Diablo III — and I don’t do it just for the fun of it. I’m hoping I’ll open eyes, here.

Look at he first shot too…

I may just be a fool here, but that really doesn’t right to me, comparing the width of the character with the width of the trees to get a sense of relativity, it becomes obvious. Now, if you want to turn Morrowind into a temperate zone, that’s fine… but with those wide-trunked-yet-short temperate zone trees there, having the fog and the vines accompanying that looks… silly.

I had this problem with the modding community too, not so much with the modders but with those who used the mods, who’d present a horrible mish-mash of visual inconsistencies and egotistically say it was better than Bethesda could do.

The thing is… some of them were right.

There were people who could put together a visually cohesive package and it would look incredible, because they’d have a good eye for what fits and what didn’t. It’s like cooking and having a decent palette, and if someone threw sliced bananas onto a cooked dinner, most people would react badly.

And temperate zone trees in a swamp is sliced bananas on a cooked dinner.

The only part I find galling though is that it’s presented as if it’s better than the original. Example: “Net result – some visual wierdness, but all-told a far better-looking game.” If Alex had just said that he wanted to go in a new direction and threw stuff together, fine… but to say it looks better…

So we go from ‘this’, which looks ancient but at least has a sense of visual consistency, to ‘this’, which is so jarring it actually makes me twitch.

Ideally I’d say to keep the bananas out of the cooked dinner, but people won’t do that because they like throwing random junk together and without any sense of taste (and even Wassily Kandinsky had a better sense of style than most gamers, it seems), but at least have the good taste to not present it as better than the original.

Because as long as the original that presents something cohesive and fitting the environment, and the upgrade doesn’t, then the original will be better because stylistically it looks more believable.

Drop the trees though and you miiight just have something there.

Unless you chose to animal farms and brick fortresses in the middle of swampland (even the Holy Grail made fun of that!), which is another instance of ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff.

This’ll probably be seen as a troll, but it’s not, it’s really not. The original Morrowind had a antastic look to it, and a brilliant atmosphere, and it’s so easy to break that. What I’d love to see is modders take what Bethesda did and upgrade it visually, rather than taking it in a whole new direction.

Because usually that whole new direction sucks.

Love the mods that don’t mess with the graphics, though.

Also: Lush, bright green grass around marshlands… ffffffffffff

June 23rd, 2009 at 9:58 am

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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June 23rd, 2009, 17:15
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
In my opinion, this "needed" amount of mods is just a sign of how little work was actually put into Morrowind from the developers, in terms of polishing.

Or, to cut it short : Bad quality.

The other side, of course, is, what isn't visible to the eyes …
Not sure what you are talking about, Al. Please do at least look at the list of mods before burping up a random anti-Bethsoft comment, will ya? The vast majority of these mods is of cosmetic nature or just adding a little more content and detail to the world of Morrowind. The game is more than seven years old now so it's only natural that the very dedicated modding community has come up with a lot of improvements in the meantime.
Anyway, only one of the mods (the unofficial Morrowind patch) is dedicated to fixing stuff. Morrowind was rather poorly balanced but elsewise it was actually a very high quality release with relatively few issues compared to many other newly released games. Please get a clue.
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June 23rd, 2009, 17:57
Makes me want to play Morrowind again (and actually finish it, hah!).
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June 23rd, 2009, 19:44
I played and finished Morrowind without any mods at all. One of the best game experiences I have ever had.

Haven't played it since though. I might again someday with the help of a few mods.
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June 23rd, 2009, 19:50
I tried playing it again a few months ago but it kept freezing and crashing my computer. Was too lazy to figure out the cause of it so I just shelved it.

I enjoyed it the first time, though. Wasn't there some mid-development fight during the game, though? Like they wanted to take the story in a whole different direction but it got shelved for some reason?
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June 23rd, 2009, 22:44
Originally Posted by Foss View Post
I played and finished Morrowind without any mods at all. One of the best game experiences I have ever had.

Same here, except that I didn't finish it, despite enjoying well over 100 hours of gaming from it. When I play it again, which I'm hoping to do later this year or early next year, I might try the graphics extender. I don't feel that Morrowind needs any mods that add/change quests, monsters, NPCs, etc.

It's simply a great game if you're an "explorer", one of the best ever imo.
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June 23rd, 2009, 23:37
I "finished" it in around 50 hours or so. I enjoyed it enough to feel satisfied but it isn't one of my favourites. Primarily, I found the combat criminally bad.

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June 23rd, 2009, 23:55
What bugs me is that there is a need for mods anyway.

And there seemingly is, according to those who develop and use these mods.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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June 24th, 2009, 00:03
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
What bugs me is that there is a need for mods anyway.

And there seemingly is, according to those who develop and use these mods.
That some people like it better with mods does not mean that there is a *need* for mods in the sense that the game isn't good without them.

As others pointed out, mods are used for new and broadened experience, not as patches for deficiencies.

Moreover, content mods in Morrowind are the equivalent to modules for NWN: Additional adventures added into the basegame.

Morrowind is perfectly playable without mods.
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June 24th, 2009, 13:38
Chapters one and two are up. To be fair, I don't find 'em particulary interesting, but maybe that's just because he's doing the things I do every game too.
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June 24th, 2009, 14:26
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
What bugs me is that there is a need for mods anyway.

And there seemingly is, according to those who develop and use these mods.
Don't forget that MW was the first TES that was also a major success on concole, with no mods at all, and that there are many players on PC who wouldn't touch mods for a variety of reasons. In fact, I would be surprised if more than 50% of PC players used any player made mods. MW isn't for every RPG fan of course fans of classic RPG's often find it trite and boring, but it was a solid offering for sandbox RPG fans, out-of-the-box. I love what the Construction Set allowed for MW - to basically custom-tailor the game to MY tastes. There may not be two people in the world that run the same combination of mods, because they are all individuals with individual preferences. The modular nature of these mods means that you can tweak pretty much every aspect to your liking, which I think is a fantastic thing, and somthing even the most dedicated well-meaning developer can not (and should not) offer.
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June 24th, 2009, 14:31
Originally Posted by VPeric View Post
Chapters one and two are up. To be fair, I don't find 'em particulary interesting, but maybe that's just because he's doing the things I do every game too.
You knife horses and kill ducks in every playthrough?
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June 24th, 2009, 16:58
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
You knife horses and kill ducks in every playthrough?
Er, no, but the wizard and especially the nearby cave are a staple of my adventures, just like the missing taxmen and the cursed ring mini-quest. Heck, I've even sold the clothes off my back too.
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