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RPGWatch Forums » Games » The Elder Scrolls » The Elder Scrolls I - IV » Morrowind VS Oblivion

Default Morrowind VS Oblivion

January 7th, 2008, 10:35
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
well Im in VERY early stage of the game.. where I cant run fast, i cant jump well, I cant cast spells much and I cant kill things well. I got my butt kicked good by nix hounds in some cave where random ppl attack me. and yes combat system just bores me so much. I suppose that cant be fixed though. is there some mod that helps me level up faster? I would like to fight vampires or some more impressive monsters. also…. npcs irritates me a lot, so I want to get powerful enough so I can whack ppl in the face and run away without getting killed…. I mean after all you can do WHATEVER you want in this game… thats the best thing about non-linear game like morrowind I do wish to turn into vampire at one stage too….
EDIT: It seems like you DO want a sandbox game, and from your description you might actually like Oblivion better. You'll get to the stage where you are strong enough to kill things as you please faster in MW though, as the level scaling is weaker and caps earlier than in Oblivion.

Grinding is truly a problem in the beginning

There are mods that affect how long it takes to improve skills, though I dont know the names of them. Without modding the following goes (you might know this already)

Improving your skills is dependent on use, and only "successful" use counts, so in the beginning your combat skill will improve slowly as you miss a lot (due to low skill). Once you have 40 points or so you will improve faster, and once you reach a much higher skill things will slow down again as improvement becomes more "expensive". If you use a custom build with major skill for the weapon you want to use (spears, hand to hand, and short blade are weakest, the others are fine) you'll start off around that level.

Armour skills are upgraded by getting hit while wearing the relevant armour. The starting area has low level enemies like mudcrabs and rats that can "train" you without killing you fast.

Jumping and running skills (acrobatics/athletics) are trained simply by jumping and running, and since these skills always succeed they will go up very fast. Just press the key for "always run" upon loading a savegame and jump a lot. It does lower your stamina and make you susceptible to knockdowns though.

The human enemies in dungeons are AFAIK not level scaled in MW and are generally too strong for a level 1 character unless that character is a fighter type. The bandit cave outside Seyda Neen and the first dungeon that you are sent to in the main quest are probably the easiest "human" dungeons.

And one little Elder Scrolls oddity: Due to level scaling your enemies become stronger as you level up, so the strongest character might be one that doesnt have his used skills as major/minor skills. A level 1 character with skill levels of 70 will be much stronger relative to his enemies than a level 10 character with skill levels around 70. The caveats (for Morrowind) are that a higher level does give you more hitpoints, and that some enemies (notably humans) arent scaled to your level. The vampires are also not scaled and the vampire caves are among the toughest locations in the unmodded vanilla game. You'll need a lot of hitpoints (I think I was lvl 15 or so when first accidentally entering one and got slaughtered, lvl 25 or so should be fine) and high skills to take them on.

EDIT2: One more trick for the early game is to visit the blades trainer guys in balmora while still level 1. You will get some equipment that you can sell for fast cash. Use that to pay NPCs to train your weapon skill to 45-50, and you'll be strong enough to take on basic enemies.
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January 7th, 2008, 15:23
I loved the first 20-30 hours of Morrowind when I was still weak and trying desperately to get my skills higher, that was one of the best parts of the game imo.
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January 7th, 2008, 16:51
IMHO levels 5-30 (or whenever you approach demigod status) are most enjoyable. The very beginning is tedious as you cant hit worth shite, and the game also gets dull once you can kill anything in a few hits. The expansion postpone the latter point a bit though.

I guess the feeling of actually improving your character is particularly important to sandbox type RPGs with weak storyline.
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January 8th, 2008, 02:09
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
EDIT: It seems like you DO want a sandbox game, and from your description you might actually like Oblivion better. You'll get to the stage where you are strong enough to kill things as you please faster in MW though, as the level scaling is weaker and caps earlier than in Oblivion.
I might. But as I've mentioned before, my computer is not powerful enough to run oblivion. Although… now I'm looking at new computer price… or plan to upgrade my comp at least. I will just have to hope for the best *fingers crossed*
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January 16th, 2008, 17:08
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
I was more driven to explore every nook and cranny in Morrowind, I'm an explorer at heart. The caves and various temples and such strewn across the land were little mini-goals for me that needed to be conquered. The monsters within needed to be eradicated, they held specific loot and secrets that needed to be unveiled. Once they were, I felt my work was done. It gave me a sense of completion, I had truly conquered the land.
Sorry to deflate your memories but monsters respawned (and leveled) in Morrowind, too. Just at a much slower pace than in Oblivion.
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January 16th, 2008, 18:05
I don't think the monsters actually levelled in Morrowind did they? I thought level just made a difference to the items they dropped but the critters themselves had set levels. So you could trigger wandering monsters at certain levels but the whole world didn't adopt your level.
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January 16th, 2008, 18:24
IIRC they levelled once the Tribunal addon was installed, but I believe just the Tribunal-related mosters and enemies were level-scaled.

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January 16th, 2008, 19:03
Expansions did not change Morrowind itself: all NPCs are of fixed level, while critters are all leveled. At 1st level, the Grazelands are full of rats. At 20th level, they're full of golden saints. If there's a unique name attached to it, its level is fixed.

What the expansions changed was to have random NPCs leveled — guards, bandits, etc. But all named NPCs were still fixed level. But this only applies within Mournhold and on Solstheim.

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January 16th, 2008, 19:46
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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January 16th, 2008, 19:55
Forgot to add: the way the main quest revealed itself in Morrowind was perfect. It made SOME kind of sense. You were sent on some basic errands investigating for a Spymaster on a secret mission and the MQ opened up gradually to you, all the while you got to discover the world around you.

The whole, DOOMSDAY IS HERE, CLOSE THE GATES of Oblivion was a joke especially when everyone around you went on as normal.

Kvatch was done well - they should have taken it futher and made it so every few hours or so a new town was attacked unless you took action. Anyway, enough about Oblivion. That game left a really bad taste.
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January 16th, 2008, 20:05
Morrowind should have been more like a perfected Daggerfall, and Oblivion even more than that. The second game of the series is the gem. It was enormous and innovative but incomplete and, at the higher levels, unbalanced.

Bethesda made the next two games progressively smaller and simpler, and that's a shame.

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January 16th, 2008, 20:11
Did I mention the totally ridiculous influence minigame?

"Woah! I like that!" "Dont talk such rubbish!" "Wow, that's a good one!" "Go to Hell!"

I'm paraphrasing of course, I havent played the game in some time, but it was funny how they all seem like a bi-polar on methamphetamine or something
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January 17th, 2008, 03:16
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Sorry to deflate your memories but monsters respawned (and leveled) in Morrowind, too. Just at a much slower pace than in Oblivion.

Monsters only respawned on the world map, they would have to in order to keep a degree of realism. They did not respawn in caves\dungeons.
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January 17th, 2008, 07:14
IIRC pure Monster dungeons respawned upon re-entry of the cell, while vampire caves and dungeons with humanoid NPC monsters didnt. And as stated level scaling didnt apply to unique named enemies.

The differences compared to Oblivion are largely matters of tuning, except for a few things:

Monsters themselves werent scaled, so a rat is always a rat with the same stats in MW, while in Oblivion the rat's abilities will vary.
MW:s NPCs had fixed levels and equipment, making some places very hazardous at a low level.
Scaling in (vanilla at least) MW is done by replacing one critter with a tougher type (notice how netches start appearing when you reach level 8 or so), but the different regions have different scaling caps. You will for instance never face Golden Saints in the starting area no matter how high your level is.

Loot from chests, merchant inventories, and the like were completely level scaled though. And with the add-ons some enemies (Dark brotherhood assassins) have scaled loot.

You cant really compare MW to Daggerfall. IMHO it, for better or worse, represented a paradigm shift towards making the game more accessible. Oblivion is OTOH a pretty natural evolution of MW.
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January 17th, 2008, 08:00
I'm starting to get hang on it. I wouldn't say it's really interesting but yes, I do like concept of freedom. Although it would have been horrible with all these mods I've installed. I would probably never be able to play this without mods.

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January 17th, 2008, 08:46
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
IIRC pure Monster dungeons respawned upon re-entry of the cell, while vampire caves and dungeons with humanoid NPC monsters didnt.

Dungeons, caves, and buildings did not respawn monsters period.

At least I never saw it happen, and I logged in well over a 100 hours in Morrowind.
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January 17th, 2008, 08:48
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
I'm starting to get hang on it. I wouldn't say it's really interesting but yes, I do like concept of freedom. Although it would have been horrible with all these mods I've installed. I would probably never be able to play this without mods.

Which mods did you end up going with?
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January 17th, 2008, 09:40
The biggest difference to me, personally, and why I enjoyed MW a lot more than Oblivion, were the factions. The factions in Morrowind are very well done, and involve quite a few quests where you need real dedication to a specific faction, instead of being able to lead all factions in the end.

I enjoy that kind of "ambitious roleplay", where gaining ranks and reputation is involved, but not when there's no real reward, no real challenge, and no real choices along the way (like in Oblivion). Getting to the top of the Imperial faction in Morrowind, for example, is a very tough climb, but also very rewarding in the end.

Edit: Thought I should mention this - these days I almost exclusively do faction based quests, with the factions I intend to go all the way with. For a new player, that is not adviced (you might want to learn more about the factions first), but if you are even remotely fighter-ish, I recommend trying to do a few quests with the Imperial faction, as you'll get some very nice quest rewards, and a feeling of "getting involved".
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January 17th, 2008, 11:25
EDIT: I also prefer to stick with one or two factions that blend together well, but I would have preferred if Bethesda had coded them to be mutually exclusive to some extent (though I am aware that this would have been against the design decisions for all the TES games). Some of the possible combinations dont really make sense. But if you restrain yourself and stick with a few factions per character the game has very good replay value for an RPG, and there are enough quests in it for it to feel like a full game even when skipping some of the factions To me that was the biggest letdown in Oblivion, the reduction of the number of quests and factions.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Dungeons, caves, and buildings did not respawn monsters period.

At least I never saw it happen, and I logged in well over a 100 hours in Morrowind.
I have played it for hundreds of hours as well, and I am quite sure that either you are wrong or we define dungeon differently. Granted one usually doesnt visit caves more than once in the game, but I have a distinct memory of a sixth house base that is part both of the teleporter index- and the fighters guild questlines.

A quick test with my old saves confirm that "some" dungeons do respawn, so we might both be right

The Vivec foreign quarter underworks' rats respawns once you've disposed of the corpses.
The bandit cave outside Seyda Neen doesnt respawn.
Andrano ancestral tomb (part of the main quest?) doesnt either.
Tharys ancestral tomb outside Balmora (on the way to the egg mine) respawns.

I recall egg mines and the lower part of the arktangband (?, the dwemer dungeon in the main quest) respawning too, but dont have the time nor the inclination to verify this.
Last edited by Zaleukos; January 17th, 2008 at 11:31.
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January 17th, 2008, 11:47
I have been to dozens of caves\tombs\dungeons more than once, and they definitely do not respawn after you've cleared them.

For a good portion of the game I did not mark the caves on the map that I had already visited because I was too lazy to do it. The way that I knew I had been to one before was because it would be empty of creatures. I finally started to mark the places I had been about 30-40 hours into the game, never once did I ever return to one of those places and find it repopulated.

There might be some special places that do respawn for whatever reason, but the average cave\dungeon did not.
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