Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Did I mention Morrowind is awesome?

Just when you think you found the perfect equipment, the best method of attack, or the most powerful enchantment that borders on cheating, you meet this one enemy which takes everything uot of you. Thank god for that, because if things went on the way they went, I would most likely have gotten bored with the combat which had become easy. Well turns out it's not easy. Not always. If you're up against the same enemy all the time, then yeah, it gets easy; you figure out their attacks - even to the point where you can dodge their magical projectiles - and often you'll strike them down before they even get to damage your health. But every now and then a new combination of foes will appear, or they'll cast a spell you've never seen them cast before (I could have sworn I got insta-killed earlier by a flame atronarch's nuke spell), and you're on your toes again.

I just finished a quest involving an old Dunmer fortress filled with Dagoth lords, sleepers and ashland zombies. Every new dungeon brings new challenges, and this one once again made me step up my game. It's strange to say this about a game that throws a dice every time you attack to determine whether your axe even connects or not, but this game undeniably involves skill. As for the Morrowind lore? I mentioned it's awesome already, didn't I?

The lore is awesome. It really is.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


With Morrowind on the Eeepc, you really learn to appreciate the simple things within the game. Reducing all graphical settings to low isn't even enough to get a decent framerate. Some modifications are in order for that, along with a tool that, among other things, modifies the in-game draw distance in real time. Most of the time you'll feel like you're walking through a thick fog, but occasionally you'll be able to allow yourself a better viewing distance, depending on the area you're in. Is it a downgrade from regular desktop-grade Morrowind? Definitely. Heck, in order to get some decent framerates you'll be installing a mod that actually removes several in-game objects. But all of that doesn't matter. Not after the first hour or so. Before you know it you'll be too busy enjoying all the other fantastic aspects of this timeless game, like the plethora of literature and the immersive and exciting main quest. Strangely enough, by taking away all those visual distractions it would seem that I'm paying more attention to the lore of the game, to a degree that I've never experienced in any of my previous play-throughs of the game. Though "play-through" may not be the right term for my dicking around which made up most of my time in the land of Vvardenfell before.

If you've managed to miss it so far for the same reasons as me, here's what I have to say about Morrowind lore: It's fucking amazing. The amount of time and detail the developers put into making the world believable, consistent and beautifully complex is admirable. I feel like up until now, I've only experienced a very small portion of what the game has to offer, following only the guild quests or those given by house Hlaalu (this is the first time I've joined a different house: Redoran.) Now I feel myself being pulled in like never before into the Nerevarine prophecies and my role in it.

But back to the technical aspects. The Morrowind tweaker which you'll be running in the background takes care of the draw distance automatically, based on your surroundings, but it also allows you to increase or decrease it using the mouse wheel - a feature I use so much now that I hardly notice what the tool even does on its own anymore. Alltogether, though, this results in some very smooth framerates 90% of the time.