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Morrowind with Tons of Mods - Who's up for another go?
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geggis
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March 4, 2011 - 8:42 am
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More testing.

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geggis
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March 4, 2011 - 8:43 am
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HURRAH! I burst through the other side!! [Image Can Not Be Found]

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geggis
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So I started playing Morrowind and ran into a few issues.

After installing a lantern ownership mod to try and stop myself from stealing every freakin' lantern in Morrowind (and selling it), I realised that the mod had inadvertently made the value of each lantern sky-rocket to about 250 gold pieces despite them appearing to only be worth 10. This meant that stealing lanterns was more lucrative than ever, to the tune of me amassing well over 1000 gold pieces before venturing into the cave next to Seyda Neen. Needless to say the mod was quickly uninstalled and a previous save restored.

I decided not to use a Dark Brotherhood attack delay mod because I felt like it would make things a little more interesting when I went to sleep. Little did I know that as soon as the first time you go to sleep you can be apprehended by an assassin and if you manage to kill them then you'll receive the infamous Dark Brotherhood armour. I wasn't having any of that so quit out, installed a delay mod and restored a previous save.

Since then my mod list has remained untouched and I've now started playing it properly. Finally.

Despite how small that cave system is next to Seyda Neen that was some creepy exploring. I got my ass handed to me a few times by that Dunmer mage and in the end resorted to running at him punching until he dropped to the floor. I'm not sure how useful hand-to-hand will be but I kinda like how it drains an enemy's fatigue which in turn makes them less accurate, more likely to collapse and less likely to run off. Could be useful.

I found the dead tax collector and decided against killing his murderer. Armand said that the tax record found on his body would give me some idea of whether or not he was fleecing people but I couldn't seen anything suspicious.

While I was wandering around Seyda Neen I couldn't resist breaking into that tall thatched tower and I'm glad I did: loads of armour to sell. The only problem is that even with my relatively (sorta, kinda) deep pockets nobody is willing to train me thanks to a mod which makes joining factions and guilds more difficult. So with that I ventured to Balmora where no guild other than the Thieves Guild would allow me join them. I think it's high time I did a few quests to get some respect.

Armed with my Chitin armour, Chitin long bow, steel shortsword and a mix of spells and abilities I'm off to find the Dwemer puzzle cube. God knows what I'll find.

I've got a load of screenshots up on Imgur right here (great, great site btw recommended by Armand) so you'll be able to see what my Morrowind looks like as well as my character and her stats ;-). The only things I've really altered visually are the character meshes (heads and bodies); creature, clothes, armour and weapon textures are higher resolution; the skies are much nicer and have these lovely big moons; the icons are bigger and clearer (Ultimate Icon Replacerabsolutely essential); the Morrowind font is slightly heavier so it's clearer at higher resolutions (Morrowind Better Dialogue Font) and the crosshair is a less conspicuous grey dot. I think that's it, the world/object textures I kept vanilla because I thought they looked a lot more coherent despite being lower resolution.

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Steerpike
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March 4, 2011 - 1:58 pm
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Woo hoo! The secrets hidden in Page 7 will remain locked away forever, but prosperity returns to the thread.

Ahh, Gregg, your stories of adventure make me tingle. I remember so many great moments in Morrowind. Dwemer Puzzle Box! Creepy Cave Outside Seyda Neen!

 

Look fondly upon these moments, adventurer.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Jarrod
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March 4, 2011 - 11:09 pm
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Lovely pics, thanks for those!  What a difference the pretty heads make.

 

I might have to break my Xbox out of storage and organise another playthrough.  I'll be moving into my house mid-year, and have a bucket load of renovations to do...  Maybe I should reward myself with a Morrowind playthrough after I've finished all of the renovations, if the bug still bites then!

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Scout
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Nice job, Gregg. I like how you tweaked the visuals just right, just enough. Smoothing out the rough edges without turning the game into a hodge-podge of styles. And the gameplay. It's a fine line to walk, to enhance without unbalancing.

I didn't mind the windfall of Dark Brotherhood armor after scrounging around killing crabs and selling clutter like dishes, glasses, forks, spoons, etc.

Maybe someday Bethesda will match the quality of Morrowind. In the mean time we still have Morrowind. I envy you getting to play this game for the first time.

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Jakkar
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March 5, 2011 - 6:08 am
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My god, I envy you that this is your first time. (Edit: I hadn't actually read Scout's response before typing this - I didn't mean to almost quote you there x]) Morrowind is the only true sandbox, to me, the only absolutely freeform RPG. Neither Fallout 3 nor Oblivion hold a candle to the sense of purity as you step out of the Census office of Seyda Neen. The sense of potential.

Good work with the mods, it sounds as though you've beaten the most obvious gameplay killers.

Now you need to learn the self-control to not steal everything in the world just because you can. When I realised this, when I developed the willpower not to seek maximum efficiency and ultimate money by exploiting the lack of consequences in the weak AI system, I found the game dramatically more rewarding. Kleptomania just isn't a fun roleplay experience in a game without any significant risks in response to doing so. I saved my thefts for high-value objects in the possession of people I felt did not deserve them – and the challenge level of robbing noble houses goes up dramatically as compared to simply nicking all the heavy armour from an Imperial fortress. And even then, only because I am at heart an opportunist and a thief.

Looting is a terrible habit, and an incredibly difficult one to break. It gets easier though – in New Vegas I very rarely stole anything, simply because I could see everyone was struggling so much just to stay alive – I can't justify theft in such a world.

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geggis
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March 6, 2011 - 9:13 am
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As part of one of the game balancing mods I'm using there're some tweaks to the consequences of being caught commiting a crime. Being caught stealing can be pretty harsh, with any and all of the stolen items been taken off of you as well as a small fine (I think it's like this in vanilla, I'm not sure), being caught pickpocketing or lock picking nearly always lands you in jail unless you're loaded enough to pay the fine (and ho boy, what a fine, always above 1000gp). As a result I nearly always avoid picking anything in sight of anyone and have yet to attempt pick pocketing because of how risky it is. Not to mention the affect it has on people's disposition is much greater and they're a lot harder to 'bring around'.

Last night I walked towards Molag Mar and went into some Dwemer tunnel system in search of the puzzle cube. Aside from the heavy creaking of presumably tonnes of earth above me, the underground was quiet and slightly unnerving because of it. Thankfully as a conjurer I've always got a friend at hand 😉

After taking out a number of bandits wandering the corridors I heard some rather unsettling noises in a chamber hidden behind a door that required lock picking. Never a good sign. I spent a good few minutes sat listening and waiting and eventually plucked up the courage to move carefully forward. Mechanical spiders. Great. I summoned a ghost to help dispatch the arachnid but shortly afterwards I was chased by some ghost mage which I couldn't defend myself against. Needless to say I'm a bit reluctant to go back down there so I'm going to try another route tonight which will hopefully bypass it.

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Jakkar
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March 6, 2011 - 1:24 pm
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HAH!

Rule #84 of Morrowind: Always carry a silver or fire-enchanted shortsword, for those encounters with the departed.

Study your environment - you're on an island populated by a race who worship their dead and practise necromancy as commonly as other races brew tea. ALWAYS be ready for the undead. And always be ready to run. I'm glad I'm not the only one who can sit for long periods just watching, or listening to a foe, trying to identify them and building up the nerve to either move on, or quell my overpowering curiosity and turn back 🙂

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geggis
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I took the other route down the Dwemer mine and thankfully found an enchanted sword capable of dealing some damage to those spirits (woo!). After that I spent the next 4 hours crawling about in the dark trying to find the puzzle cube to no avail. I kept going deeper and deeper until I reached this flooded cavern with no way out other than the way I came in. No cube, no visible enemies (though I could hear some) and no clue where to go next. In the end I decided to leave. Just as I got back to the first chamber of the mine I noticed an outcrop of rock that led off to an upper level. There was a door up there and behind it a mad axe-wielding nutter who took me by surprise and nearly killed me. And right there on one of the bottom shelves was the puzzle cube! My heart skipped a beat when the words popped up as I hovered over it. It was right there under the entrance of the mine all along! I think a key that I found somewhere allowed me to open the door but I'm not sure. It was a relief to leave though, thought I was going to go mad down there in the dark with the constant moaning of the earth.

While I was down there I got sucked into a book for about 30 minutes and when I finished it I was like 'Oh, where am I again? Oh shit, here.' That was pretty immense.

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Scout
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That's actually a known hard quest item to find, Gregg. I did the same thing, crawled around that whole mine and then on the way out saw the ledge at the entrance with the merry axe man.  The good news is most items are easier find. The bad news is most items are easier to find....

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geggis
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Scout said:

That's actually a known hard quest item to find, Gregg. I did the same thing, crawled around that whole mine and then on the way out saw the ledge at the entrance with the merry axe man.  The good news is most items are easier find. The bad news is most items are easier to find....


I thought with it being pretty much right under your nose as you enter the mine that it was just a massive oversight on my part. The thing is, if I hadn't had those 4 hours crying in the dark trying to find that item then I wouldn't have been so damn overjoyed when I finally found it. At the same time though, I suppose Morrowind is so big you don't really want to be spending all your time doing tough fetch quests. So I wholeheartedly agree, good news as well as bad news.
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Steerpike
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March 15, 2011 - 9:21 am
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I remember a moment of fear when I was looking for the Puzzle Box in Arkhenasdgbljslgjjmteewkpsekfspgjyhand; fear that they'd gone and Daggerfalled us again. Like you, Gregg, I spent four hours down there without finding shit and I thought we were looking at another game of endless dungeons where you could spend weeks without finding the objective. Then I found it, and like you, I felt both relief and joy.

The Dwemer ruins are creepy places. Much creepier, in my mind, than the Daedra ruins you'll soon learn to avoid until you're level 23.

 

Last night I walked towards Molag Mar

I think at least five different people have now said, on separate occasions, how jealous they are that you're getting to experience Morrowind for the first time and we can never do that again. I've already said it twice and now I'll say it again.

Gregg, do you have a boxed copy of the game? Do you have the paper map of Vvardenfell? It's quite useful. If you haven't got a copy you might want to see if you can eBay one for yourself.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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March 15, 2011 - 10:20 am
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Hells yes! That was the best thing about getting the pre-owned stand-alone game and its expansions: the maps. They're wonderful things and between them and the instruction manual (which has like, instructions and everything in it) I'm so glad to have dashed down to the local game stores to see if they had Morrowind buried somewhere. Honestly, I couldn't believe my luck, I was expecting to have to buy the GOTY edition without the maps but there they were! Hurrah!

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Scout
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That puzzle box quest was almost like Bethedsa saying, "This is NOT Daggerfall! Not every last quest item is at the very bottom, back, darky dark corner of the dungeon, fool!" I know I remembered that little lesson for the rest of the game.

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Jarrod
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March 15, 2011 - 10:28 pm
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Haha, I did the same thing as you guys - but at least we all found it eventually!  I think it was that first dungeon that taught me reverence for humble levitation spells.

 

More pics please [Image Can Not Be Found]

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Jakkar
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March 16, 2011 - 2:39 am
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I wonder if any of you went as far as me, performing complex acrobatic maneuvers for several hours at the very deepest points, with the bizarre machines and the lava, to climb up toward the ceiling, hopping from strut to bolt to little tiny ledge. I think I found some valuable stuff up there, but it was a while ago. I got the bastard in the end, in exactly the same way ._. Either we're very similar, or Bethesda are clever, cruel people. After Oblivion, I can only imagine the latter to be true.

Those ruins were wonderful. And a good example of torturous gameplay; the difficulty of finding that item, the challenge of the combat, the fact half the enemies are invulnerable to normal weapons and that the game throws you down there very early on all combine to make the game truly challenge you in a way that feels.. realistically unfair. I haven't had that feeling from an RPG in altogether too long – everything since strives to level-scale the world to you.

Adaptive difficulty is a fucking sin.

Anyone know any decent games for an extreme challenge, not in the sense of Ikaruga pattern-memorisation and dodging a thousand projects or Super Meat Boy masochism – a real challenge to the mind and reflexes in equal measure. Other than Stalker?

And yes, more pics! =D

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Steerpike
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The levitation spell is crucial. Don't leave home without it!

Jakkar, I also spent many hours down in the lava clambering over the machinery. "Why would someone keep a puzzle box in the machine room?" I asked myself, but I thought it was the only place left to look. Like Gregg I only saw that ledge when I was leaving in frustration.

 

Anyone know any decent games for an extreme challenge

Demon's Souls. I guess you do have to hold up that liquor store.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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March 16, 2011 - 9:16 am
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Steerpike said:

The levitation spell is crucial. Don't leave home without it!

Jakkar, I also spent many hours down in the lava clambering over the machinery. "Why would someone keep a puzzle box in the machine room?" I asked myself, but I thought it was the only place left to look. Like Gregg I only saw that ledge when I was leaving in frustration.


I intend on returning to that flooded cavern once I get the levitation spell or some such potion, there's something down (or up) there, I could hear it.
 

That lava cavern with the broken bridge didn't require any sort of mantling or climbing about for me because as a Khajiit I have the Feline Grace ability which allowed me to clear the gap without a hitch. Well, the only hitch was that once I got over to the other side (a dead end I might add) I had to sleep for 24 hours to use the ability again to get back.

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Jakkar
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I'm glad I'm not the only deranged clambering monkey-man around here. Even if one of us is a 'graceful feline' =p

Blast. You had to remind me. I'd kill an only mildly objectionable person for a PS3 and Demon's Souls.. But if I had the cash, I still wouldn't buy 'em.. It's just ridiculously extortionate for what amounts to a toy of limited purpose, until the Last Guardian is available. I can't justify consoles. My Xbox 360 may be one of my few regrets. I had faith in Rockstar. GTA4 caused a piece of my heart to wither and flake away. *grabs for the tissues and runs away so you can't see the tears*

*muffled voice from next room*

Levitation and water-walking were two abilities that radically altered Morrowind and changed the gameplay as significantly as just about anything I've ever encountered in a sandbox - but could easily be considered overpowered. The worst part may simply be the lack of AI-response. Flying between Vivec's cantons naturally doesn't evoke so much as a raised eyebrow from the citizens or guards, and that wears away at my immersion and interest in the game like sleeping bag lined with sandpaper.

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