I really wanted to love this game. I love the other Elder Scrolls games that came out after Daggerfall, and I love retro gaming (going to play Lands of Lore II now instead, another 90's game), and I loved the above ground aspects of Daggerfall, but I just cannot get my head around the dungeons!
If all the game did was tell me what percentage of the dungeon I had searched and had an automap that was flat and showed each level separately (like X-Com and others) I could live with the rest. It's not how large the dungeons are, it's how they are built and how bad the game help is to search them properly.
I had searched 4 dungeons and never ever found the item/creature/NPC I needed. I found the "following the left wall' to be totally inadequate and find the automap hinders more than it helps. So I have given up. The ghosts will have to keep haunting Daggerfall City and the letter will never be found. Quite simply, if you can't cope with the dungeons, you're not going to be able to do the quests and therefore there is no point in playing the game!
My only hope is for DaggerXL, a re-make that may avoid these ssues.
I am so sad to be saying this, because in every other regard it is a brilliant roleplaying game! I am only level 2 but found a Deadric short sword, so it's not because I am dying every 30 seconds, it's just boring spending 30-60 minutes searching a convoluted maze of a dungeon with no help at all from the game!
If you are sure you have searched everything, then you can set the cheats value to 1 in your .cfg file. You can now use "[" and "]" to phase around the dungeon. This is also useful if you fall through the void. The automap is a bit hard to use, but you should not let it get you down. As you said, it's a wonderful game and one fault should not get you down, especially since there is a way around it. Also, a speed of 75 really helps and casting recall at the entrance will save your sanity.
Dungeons do take a little getting used to. I found them pretty intimidating when I first started playing the game, too. I wouldn't accept any quests that involve dungeons, or I'd scope out the place to see how big it was before deciding whether you continue or just reload my save. You can tell how big a dungeon is by looking at the blotch of yellow pixels on you top-left corner of the dungeon map. The more pixels, the bigger the map.
There is a lot to the game that doesn't involved dungeons. Most fighter's guild quests do not involve dungeons. All thieves guild quests are in towns only. There are a good handful of mages guild errands that are sans-dungeon, too.
Everything you guys say is true, but if I haven't found anybody or anything I needed to in four dungeons, without feeling I am getting better, etc with each one, I can't see it will change after 6 or 8 dungeons. ASto allthe surface quasts, I agree,but it's still the fact that the main Quest forces you intodungeons, and the bigger general quests are too. So you couldn't finish the game or even come close.
I tried the [ use in the dungeon I am in and itseem to take me to some rooms mostly with treasure in. Is this what the cheat does, take you to any rooms with treasure in? Because if it is, I don;tsee how it helps my problem. Because it's not the loot that gets the quest completed.
I am playing the game in DOSBox and hadn't heard of that bug before. Daggerfall doesn't help by saying a quest is about saving a kidnapped girl from Orcs, for example, but you know the dungeon won't have just Orcs or even any Orcs in the dungeon!
Well the girl I was looking for wasn't in any of the quest rooms. So don't know if the cheat works when it's an NPC you have to find. I'll use it in the next dungeon to see if I have the bug mentioned.