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The 'Morrowind vs Oblivion' thread.

#1mazereonPosted 9/13/2010 8:58:32 PM
Firstly, Hi all. I haven't posted here much, but I've played Morrowind since around 2004 on PC. I own both expansions, as well as Oblivion. Also, sorry if this thread has been done, but I've just got back into Morrowind.

This is all in my opinion, clearly. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but bear in mind this is opinion rather than fact based.

What I'd like to hear is your pick of the two games, and why you've chosen each. In depth reasons would be great; while 'i leik oblivion cuz teh grapics are beter lol' is valid, it doesn't tell us that much. You can factor in whatever you like, so if you want to compare Morrowind's modding scene and MGE etc, feel free to.

My pick? Morrowind.

The reasons why I love it are many and varied, but to be honest, this choice mainly stems from my disappointment with Oblivion. The major let downs for me:

1. Oblivion's world is very homogenous - it's a big grassy valley (compare to Morrowind's wastes, volcanos, forests, tundra, urban landscapes, swamps, etc etc).
2. The Oblivion dungeons are also pretty uniform and all feel exactly the same.
3. Oblivion's levelled enemies and gear - Daedric armour is no longer awesome if every random highway bandit has it. Why is he robbing me when he could just sell his armour and live like a king?!
4. The MQ is very linear and IMO not as engaging.
5. Oblivion gates - great the first time, ok second and third... then very boring. See #2.
6. The content - Oblivion's world is much smaller, and there's much less to do. Far fewer places to explore, items to get, etc etc.
7. Fast travel ruins the experience, IMO. Half the fun of quests is often the process of the journey to the location and the finding of it; Oblivion just needs you to click. Of course you can choose not to use it, though.

To be fair, it's got some amazing advancements over Morrowind (mainly the combat system and NPC interaction and scheduling), but those issues above are big deals for me. And with Morrowind Comes Alive and Living Cities of Vvardenfall a lot of the 'staticness' of Morrowind is reduced. Combined with MGE, the new weapon model/tex replacer and the Morrowind Visual Pack, the game looks virtually as good and the world feels so much richer.

That's my $0.02; love to hear yours. Walk with virtue.

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#2positivebalancePosted 9/13/2010 10:09:59 PM

i have played both morrowind and oblivion extensively. in fact, they're probably two of my most played games ever. i have to give the edge to morrowind. like you said, it has a lot more variety in its environments, as well as having rarer gear, making it all the sweeter when you find that measly little left daedric pauldron. morrowind is truly a magical game with outstanding attention to detail. when you start off, you're nothing more than a lowly prisoner off the boat.

i think that's what sets morrowind apart from oblivion. in oblivion, right from the get go you can dominate every enemy since they're leveled. but in morrowind, walking out into the dangerous ashlands is suicide if you're low level. there's also a lot more variety in the factions you can join, which i love.

BUT, morrowind has one drawback that oblivion doesn't. it isn't a pick-up-and-play affair. you really have to invest a lot of time and effort in leveling your character and finding awesome gear that suits you. oblivion is fun right from the start, and is very, very fun. the stealth and combat are vastly improved, and over all, it's a lot more cinematic in its presentation than morrowind.

it may not be as big as morrowind, but it's still a massive game in its own right. these are two games with nearly endless replayability, and it's extremely common to find yourself playing for hours and hours in one sitting. that's what sets the elder scrolls series apart from other franchises.

all in all, i do prefer morrowind to oblivion for a variety of reason, but oblivion is no joke. it's one of the most influential games of all time and a ****c.

#3StrelokPosted 9/14/2010 12:40:20 AM
NPC interaction with oblivion is *WORSE* than with Morrowind.
Why? Well, let me tell you good sir.

Morrowind:
"What did you say about my mother?"
"Good Daedra! Why do you insult my genetalia?!"
"What kind of creature did you call me?"
"hey money..."
"oh you wish to make amends? Yeah, that Sujamma gets to you ok..."
"Why do you call my mother a Nix-Hound?"

Now, Oblivion.

"Hehe, good joke."
"Are you trying to intimidate me?"
"I don't like slimeballs who brownnose me."
"You actually killed those mudcrabs?"
"ooh money!"

Yeah, why do you HAVE to select all 4 options? it... makes no bloody sense...
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#4BeriornPosted 9/14/2010 1:48:36 AM
Oblivion is more of a generic, dumbed-down version of Morrowind. Less skills, less items, even a frail High Elf Mage can beat people to death with a claymore, the story is bland, all that stuff. On the other hand, the sidequests are surprisingly good and inventive, and require you to do other stuff than just talk to people, fetch items or kill stuff. Then again, Morrowind has a quest in which you kill a flying jellyfish with a fork.

There's also all the suggested content in Morrowind that makes it great. Finding an Ancestral Tomb wrecked in infested with Daedra shows that they have no love for the ancestor worship of the Dunmer. Hidden weapons behind beds or under pillows shows that people are ready to defend themselves at a moment's notice.

Another favorite in Morrowind is that though the map itself is smaller than that of Oblivion, there is a lot more traveling on foot to be done due to no fast-travel system. You will have to rely on services, Almsivi and Divine Intervention, Mark and Recall, and the services provided by the people.

Then, there are people like Crassius Curio that make interacting with the characters of Morrowind unforgettable. Overall, I prefer Morrowind.
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#5jonas66Posted 9/14/2010 8:35:34 AM
Here's just hoping that they make V with the combat, stealth, and magical interface of Oblivion, with the size, variety and depth of Morrowind, and fix the leveling system of enemies so that you can be both the babe lost in the woods and the god among men that you were able to be in Morrowind.

The leveling of the enemies was my only real gripe in Oblivion that I don't consider personal nitpicking.
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How much of rational behavior is only rational when rationalized?
#6Koga no GoshiPosted 9/14/2010 11:09:00 AM
OP, you basically stated everything that every Morrowind fan feels about Oblivion. I'm generalizing of course, there's a few odd ones who claim both games are equally special little snowflakes and they love them both equally, but I still think you pretty much hit the list of what most people would have to objectively admit were stronger points in Morrowind than in Oblivion.

I'd add that it wasn't just the dialogue, feel, flavor or lore, everything about the whole game design got dumbed down. A good example would be the compass. Who cares how pretty the world was made in Oblivion, you don't notice it and there's no reason to explore it. You just follow a compass around on the bottom of your screen. Worse, you HAVE to do nothing but that because the game wasn't built for you to find the places you need to go any other way. NPC's do not really give instructions like they did in Morrowind, because it was merely presumed you'd have the premarked map location or the compass to follow.

Morrowind was a better, smarter, deeper game. Oblivion was a game set in the same series and ostensibly the same world, but otherwise compromised the gameplay to make it more like any generic action or FPS game out there on any store shelf. I don't think that is a good thing to do just for the sake of saying more people will buy a generic, shallow action FPS when we're talking about one of the deepest, most immersive open-ended non-linear RPG series ever made. In fact I'm sure it's not a good thing.

Sure, improve the combat, improve the engine, improve the graphics over time as technology allows. But I think the degree to which there was anything astoundingly great about the Oblivion combat system has been vastly overrated. I felt like it was exactly what I have already called it... a watered down FPS system for mass consumption where every attack hits and does damage and it's about spastically running around to dodge or cast or kite. Improvement over Morrowind? Many people think so. Me? I feel like if I want a reflex action FPS, I can go play a real one. To me any advantage of the FPS combat system was utterly more and wiped out by the lack of depth in teh game, the removal of weapon and armor types, and the utter nut-gimping of the casting system and spell effects being so stunted per skill tier. I would have rather have gotten another "eh not so great" combat system that left magic strong and tons of weapon and armor choices in over a game that got confused while trying really hard to be an FPS without guns.

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"Koga no Goshi, I agree with everything you've said, and I've read all of it. You're everything that a TES fan should be." --- Itachi62
#7mazereon(Topic Creator)Posted 9/14/2010 1:31:10 PM
Koga No - I think it's a spot on point about Oblivion feeling like a FPS in RPG clothes in some respects. While Morrowind's combat is somewhat 'classic' RPG fare, I think it'd work OK if certain minor changes were made (like blocking being manual).

Positivabalance - Being able to dominate in Oblivion from the outset is what's really putting me off another play through. A few weeks ago I played through the tutorial, went straight to the Imperial City, jumped in the arena, and became arena Champion at level 1 with a Silver axe I picked up on the way in a dungeon. It was just far too easy, and broke the immersion. I've tried using the Oblivion patch that means enemies' levels are fixed, but it still didn't work out properly.

Toiletbrush - I must say, that manual dialog option is one of my favoured parts of Oblivion. Being skilled at minigames to me was a better option than killing Sorkvild the Raven at level 1 in Morrowind and getting the Mask of Clavicus Vile, thus boosting my personality to a level where I don't need to invest in Speechcraft since I can charm anyone easily. Points noted though.

Beriorn - that's true, guys like Crassius, M'Aiq etc really have personality I didn't see reflected in Oblivion characters. If only Morrowind dialog wasn't so static...

Jonas66 - What did you think of the dungeons/Ayelid ruins/Oblivion gates in Oblivion then?

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#8Koga no GoshiPosted 9/14/2010 2:27:21 PM
Oblivion definitely doesn't have the shelflife of Morrowind, for sure. I'd say something like on and off 2 years of my life were primarily Morrowind play. I'd say that period was more like 2 months with Oblivion. And that seems to conform roughly to the target amount of content/depth for console games these days.

I actually know for fact I still haven't discovered everything in Morrowind, even after all these years. I don't know if I missed much of anything in Oblivion, but more importantly, I'm not totally sure I care. I did the Dark Brotherhood and between that and, to a lesser extent, the Arena, I just didn't feel like anything else I was able to find in game was worth doing.

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"Koga no Goshi, I agree with everything you've said, and I've read all of it. You're everything that a TES fan should be." --- Itachi62
#9mazereon(Topic Creator)Posted 9/14/2010 2:45:13 PM
I find it's much the same for me. I wander around in Morrowind and even without quests to do, I'm quickly occupied by picking a direction and walking in it (usually towards unexplored ground). When I enter a shrine/dungeon etc I'll always put a note on the map like 'Done' and I'm astounded by how many caves I find that I know I've never been in.

In Oblivion, on the other hand, since all the ruins felt so much the same and the bandits levelled with you there was no real point in exploring random caverns since you probably weren't going to be immersed or get good loot.

For me, the most glaring case in point is in Morrowind - it's Tukushapal, and specifically the Sepulchur. There's a regular looking cavern, that gets deeper and deeper until you get to a maze, and in the middle of the maze there's another door, to an underground lake. In the middle of the lake there's a galley with a entombed warrior, surrounded by gear and gifts. It literally took my breath away to see the attention to detail and though behind it, in a non quest related dungeon.

And then finding a further secret area with the REAL loot he was interred with...

I've never found anything like that in Oblivion, and I really miss it.

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#10StrelokPosted 9/14/2010 2:51:31 PM
Toiletbrush - I must say, that manual dialog option is one of my favoured parts of Oblivion. Being skilled at minigames to me was a better option than killing Sorkvild the Raven at level 1 in Morrowind and getting the Mask of Clavicus Vile, thus boosting my personality to a level where I don't need to invest in Speechcraft since I can charm anyone easily. Points noted though.

I wouldn't mind it be a minigame, but having to coerce, joke, admire and boast in the same conversation? Uuuurgh. They should have been options and then you'd have to get a dot on a colored but of a slider, like in Fable 2. That would have been preferable to the current system which makes no ****ing sense.
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