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December 9th, 2012, 13:56
Morrowind "ancient"? I'm not sure what to think of that. It's a pretty modern 3D game, and Bethesda still uses a permutation of that engine (fortunately somewhat better optimized).
Ancient in a technological point of view. The word is exagerated, I know it's not that old, but a long of things changed since 2002. The background is still good looking, but the characters move in a clunky kind of way. And the voice acting is almost non existent. But, compared with all the D&D inspired games Morrowind was a step forward, of course. I have nothing against it, it just doesn't appeal to me, because I'm not a fantasy fan. Ergo, the "medieval" look of Oblivion and the nordic inspiration of Skyrim appeals more to me than the strange looking part of the world focused on Morrowind.

If you want at least a little bit older, play Arena and/or Daggerfall. Especially the latter has a big fan following, and both games are still easy to install on modern machines. Plus, they are free. If you want ancient, play the Ultimas.
Yes, I know. I played Ultima, but not on a PC, on a ZX Spectrum. I am getting ancient too. I didn't play Arena nor Daggerfall because by that time I was too much into P&P role playing, and, when playing video games, I tended to avoid all things RPG, not to get fed up. Maybe that's why I know that when I look at those games from the late 90s until 2005 I see them from what they are, without any nostalgic feeling about the first time I played themů They were ground breaking in the past, but they are now outdated. I agree that some positive things from the old school games are not "fashionable" nowadays, and some bad things were added to achieve a wider audience. But, still, I'm sure that most of the love for old school games is derived from nostalgia, and this retro fashion thing (not only in video games, in everything, the 80). Minecraft would not have been a big hit 5 years ago, I'm certain of that.

Regarding the newer Bethesda games, yes, they have factions. Morrowind had 15 joinable factions in the base game alone, plus some others you just made a few quests for (in newer games, these would have been joinable). You couldn't join all 15 at the same time, as there were restrictions, something Bethesda decided to toss in later games. These restrictions were relatively mild, and you could circumvent at least one of them, but Bethesda still tried to have at least some roleplaying in there. In later games, factions didn't matter to the outside. This is the kind of dumbing down I'm most unhappy about, as it stresses how artificial the world is.
I agree that the possibility of joining various faction in the Elders Scrolls games (but not in Fallout 3 or New Vegas - In FONV you can't be with the Legion and NCR, for example, you can't even align with the Yes Man too many time untill all others turn against you. On FO3 if you start shooting too many innocents you will be persecuted, and the Brotherhood of Steel won't take it kindly if you decide to start killing their people either). So, I agree that the part of being able to do all the faction quests was "dumbing". It's the only dumbing we'll agree about.

I'm not sure about your use of the word "epic". Actually, Morrowind's plot is very epic, in the actual sense of the word. It's like an elaborate Greek drama, with gods and demigods playing a part, and you are not quite sure who the real villain is. Dagoth Ur as the betrayed one is quite an interesting antagonist. Maybe you don't like that you are the tool of a petty revenge and responsible for the destruction of Morrowind. You know, "epic" doesn't need kalpas. This "epic" is subtle, not like Oblivion's bold and stupid. It also makes fun of the concept of "hero".
What I find stupid about Oblivion are the side quests. The main quest I find it interesting. With a bit of horror inspiration in there - the plane of Oblivion seems a lot like a vision of Hell. But, sure, the side quests are kind of silly.
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