ma’habocath allows the answering machine to take morrowind’s latest call

Kind of want to play Morrowind again. Oh but wait, it’s broken and buggy without at least a dozen mods and hacks.

After that, Morrowind gameplay still sucks in almost every respect, and each step towards making it suck less makes it more and more buggy and broken again:

Combat if you’re anything but a straightup beatstick, then every fight is “walk up, click 1-4 times, foe fall down”; hand-to-hand just replaces “click 1-4 times” with “click 20-80 times”.

Magic? Enjoy running out of MP against everything with more HP than a rat, and then everything takes 2 seconds to cast when one 1/3-second sword-swing does the same thing with far fewer resources. By the way, almost everything that has more than about 200 HP (ie it now takes 4 or 8 seconds to kill instead of 1/2 to 1 second) has Reflect. Consult #76 of the Grand List Of Console Role Playing Game Clichés if you’re interested in casting anything more interesting than Fireball like, say, two or three castings of Damage Strength on Target followed by Burden 1pt on Target then several castings of Fireball or raining arrows on them (taking over a minute on even weaklings), which all could have been taken care of by less than a few seconds of beatsticking instead!

Stealth? You’re just a weaker beatstick and IF your sneak attack hits so what, it would’ve been much less of a drag to beatstick — and without fast travel aside from guild guides and silt striders (and mods), Morrowind sucks up more than enough time as-is! No reason to tiptoe towards anyone after several hours of grinding because by then nobody’s a threat anymore unless you like Mournhold as a combat zone, and good luck sneaking up on packs of Riekling Raiders!

Leveling-up that gimps you if you don’t meta-/power-game, not to mention how illogical it is for becoming harder to hurt by getting better at bargaining.

Alchemy, even not considering the horrible interface, even if you avoid broken combos like +TEXAS Int to have +TEXAS every other attribute or +TEXAS Sanctuary and Chameleon etc.

Out-of-combat magic is such a pain. Why, oh why, do you have so few MP and why are all effective spells so expensive and hard to cast even at max skill and Will. It doesn’t make a lick of sense to go to bed after every three or five spells, and can you imagine how wrecked one’s bladder would be to drink enough potions to keep up? All mages in unmodded Morrowind max Alchemy just to brew hundreds of magicka potions then before every fight tap the drink-potion hotkey once or thrice.

Out-of-combat stealth, especially after playing either Oblivion and Skyrim, makes all would-be thieves cry. And even if pickpocketing etc. wasn’t a mess, aside from a few shops and alchemy equipment watched by Hlaalu Guards (but see above) there’s nothing worth stealing you can’t find better in a Daedric ruin crime-free. By the way, Chameleon 100% for 3 Seconds on Self is but ~20,000 gold and training Illusion to >40 via your local Mage’s Guild away. Also by the way, being a criminal just locks you out of 99% of quests so now all you can do is enjoy the boring, broken combat system and good luck finding anyone to sell your vendor-trash to!

Oh yeah, the economy. After the first few levels there’s no point in worrying about wealth for many, many reasons even if you go out of your way to avoid selling homemade potions to vendor scamps and mudcrabs.

Enchanted weapons and other charged items means taking at least half a minute for several castings of Soultrap 5 seconds on Target + Summon Golden Saint for 5 seconds on Self, each followed by beatsticking and navigating the idiot interface to recharge each and every time… instead of just a momentary click of your hot-key’d magicka potion. By the way 1/4 the time you cast your Soultrap/Saint spell will crash to desktop.

There aren’t enough hotkeys, especially as a mage, so you never use 90% of your spells because it’s too much of a time-wasting drag to stop combat and select a spell and go back every single time as if spellcasting weren’t enough of a time-wasting drag to begin with.

The enemies are boring and stop being a threat after four hours of grinding (or eight hours for Mournhold, or twelve hours for Solstheim) even with both the difficulty slider at +100 and ‘sandbagging’ by sticking with crap equipment and/or spells which makes no in-character sense unless you’re roleplaying a masochist, moron, and/or cultist of Sheogorath (but see below).

By the way, intentionally gimping yourself for the sake of making things more fun and interesting, is neither fun nor interesting, for anyone. We all know what you’re doing, it isn’t fooling anyone (especially not yourself) no matter how long and twisted your mental gymnastics in denial and justification, so keep your “waah badwrongfun / ROLEplayers-not-ROLLplayers / stormwind fallacy” etc. to yourself.

Anyway, we can go all day listing post-crash fixes, balancers, silly & illogical meta-gaming and so forth. And every single thing you apply is yet another mod which means yet another ball for Morrowind to struggle juggling.

Then after all that, if you’ve already “done it all” and want more quests, enemies, gameplay options (try and be a people-hating, self-sufficient, au naturel herbalist and craftsman without mods), and so forth, guess what? Every new mod is more crashing when even code-patched Morrowind struggles to keep each new ball a’juggle! And don’t give me Tamriel Rebuilt, which means you don’t get to play with almost any of those spiffy monster (aside from default), NPC, weapon, and texture/etc mods unless you want to spend 80 hours in the Construction Set modding TR yourself!

THEN after all THAT, if you attend to the most “optional” route because you can’t stand how ugly Morrowind is even by early-00’s standards, from the monsters to the outfits to your weapons and every spell: not only does each new mod and texture-replacement spell even more crashing a’top the prior piles, now you get to deal with insane as even today’s high-end PCs can barely handle all the bloom, HDR, infinite view distances, 16384×16384 textures, bump maps, and particles on an engine not designed to handle it as most of those technologies didn’t exist back then so of course the already half-broken engine isn’t optimized for any of it.

Morrowind is lovely and I’ve probably spent at least 2000 joyous hours (and 3000 more unjoyous from fixit modding to dealing with crashes when the fixit didn’t stick) but to make it no longer boring, unbalanced, illogical (by itself, and what you must do in the meta-game to not break everything even if it would make perfect sense in-character do do so — in real life, if facing a life-or-death situation, would you rather the best equipment you can get your hands on or would you leave it behind and keep your dull knife and rusty tin suit?), and ugly, if you’ve already “done it all” a dozen times with every imaginable character type with every race/gender, none of it is worth the resultant bugginess far beyond its original, half-broke state.


I miss Morrowind and want to play it again but I’ve “done it all” unless I use so many mods it’ll make things as unstable as a house of cards in last night’s storm. (Which couldn’t wake me.)

Kinda wanna make one of a custom class focusing on stealth, debuff & “battlefield-control” spells, alchemy for self-buffs and healing, and hand-to-hand (sort of a nightblade minus the blade) who doesn’t like to kill people and animals (but daedra and undead are abomination; he hates the dark elves for their apparent cults and necromancy!) so prefers to Demoralize Beast/Humanoid or Levitate On Target and run — unless they look to have good loot, in which case he’ll punch and/or Disintegrate Weapon/Armor and pickpocket. (Need a mod for this.)

Roleplaying-wise he’d be an anti-social thug whose preferred crime is beating people unconscious and taking their stuff. Unless they look tough or are surrounded by guards, in which case comes traditional tiptoeing and pickpocketing, running for the hills launching debuffs over his shoulder when he fails — like Damage Strength if they’re heavily-armored guards as most of them are. He particularly hates merchants and the upper-class, sometimes stealing if only to drop their things into the nearest river if he doesn’t have enough cash to cover the bounty.

Finally, he says “screw Vvardenfell” right off the boat, tossing the package for Caius Cosades into the nearest bonfire before turning around and swimming back to the mainland. (Tamriel Rebuilt)

But again, mods and bugginess — and the whole “criminal here = criminal everywhere” thing is silly; wish there were a non-kludgy and stable mod for replicating Skyrim’s regional crime system. And getting Morrowind to work on Windows 8 in the first place. I really need a “retro gaming PC” with, like, Windows 2000 on it that doesn’t connect to the Internet or anything like that.


Author: ma'habocath

ma'habocath knows some, tells much. ma'habocath knows few things others do. This one is a live-alone, full-time burger-flipper with an odd mind and too much to say. ma'hab always tries the best ma'hab can to keep up: • Chores • Bodybuilding and other health-nuttery • Japanese language studies • Culinary experimentation (see “other health-nuttery”) • Exploration of newfound spiritual territory • Exploration of my Self • Figuring out how to socialize well enough, mostly face-to-face • Backlogs: books, heavy metal, anime • Blogging, chatting, texting, and talking to whomever will listen about all of the above

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