I essentially consider Arena and Daggerfall to be a separate series from modern Elder Scrolls

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Werewolf
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Re: I essentially consider Arena and Daggerfall to be a separate series from modern Elder Scrolls

Post by Werewolf »

Abstract as in the world design and enemy design. Morrowind’s environments and interiors were naturally more detailed because it came over 5 years after Daggerfall. Back then 5 years was like decades of graphical progress. If Morrowind would’ve continued off Daggerfall instead of being a soft reboot I’m sure it still would’ve had detailed interiors and environments. Heck, the environments would’ve probably been more impressive with the size and scope

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jayhova
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Re: I essentially consider Arena and Daggerfall to be a separate series from modern Elder Scrolls

Post by jayhova »

Werewolf wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 1:38 pm If Morrowind would’ve continued off Daggerfall instead of being a soft reboot I’m sure it still would’ve had detailed interiors and environments. Heck, the environments would’ve probably been more impressive with the size and scope
This is why I am a large proponent of perpetual worlds. Eagle dynamics started doing this in 2008. instead of redoing worlds over and over each time with incremental improvements they said let's just keep the whole thing and improve it as we go. Each game after became and improvement to DCS world.
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Werewolf
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Re: I essentially consider Arena and Daggerfall to be a separate series from modern Elder Scrolls

Post by Werewolf »

Imagine Morrowind’s detailed house interiors but spread across 100,000 square miles and thousands of towns. Plus more detailed landscapes then the original Daggerfall. Morrowind switched from fantasy life simulator to action RPG. Morrowind was FAR more of a downgrade then Skyrim. Skyrim was a simplified Morrowind, Morrowind drastically cut down on the premise of Daggerfall to the point where it was a different genre

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MrFlibble
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Re: I essentially consider Arena and Daggerfall to be a separate series from modern Elder Scrolls

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Werewolf wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 5:24 pm Imagine Morrowind’s detailed house interiors but spread across 100,000 square miles and thousands of towns.
There's nothing wrong with that, but what for? I'm actually not a big fan of these details in Morrowind, although I appreciate the game for what it is.

I don't believe that a large world is a merit in itself. It's about what kind of world the game allows/encourages the player to imagine. NPCs in Arena and Daggerfall look more credible because there are limitations to the technology. You see a two-dimensional sprite and imagine the rest. In Morrowind, NPCs are real three-dimensional characters that look more realistic, so you start asking yourself, why are these guys standing in the same place all day (and night) long or march around aimlessly? Don't they have to eat/sleep/pee sometime? Don't they have stuff to do? There are chairs in almost every house or building, why doesn't anyone sit down at least for a moment? So they appear more "realistic" because of the 3D technology and detail, but ultimately feel more fake than low-res, often non-animated sprites from the first two TES games.

I know for certain that I can easily imagine towns in Arena and Daggerfall to be real places exactly because they give the imagination something to chew on and fill in the gaps. When there are fewer or no gaps to fill, it is actually harder to retain suspension of disbelief, it's kind of like the uncanny valley effect, in a way. The more lifelike an imitation, the more you are aware that it is an imitation.
Werewolf wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 5:24 pm Morrowind was FAR more of a downgrade then Skyrim.
I wouldn't call it a downgrade. Morrowind is focused on telling a story, without hand-holding the player like in many more recent games. It's a lot less sand-box-y than Daggerfall, because that would not be conducive to telling the story of the scope and detail that it tells. It's not something you can blame Bethesda for, it was a conscious design choice or design philosophy, even.

What they could do better was implementing certain things like more credible NPCs. Gothic came out before Morrowind (IIRC) but it has way more lifelike NPCs that have their daily routines and act like real human beings, or at least pull off a pretty decent impression. And I guess the "fantasy world simulator" part also took a backseat because they wanted to appeal to a wider audience. Morrowind takes you places with a lot of sightseeing and some action, all the while being part of a big story. It's a different experience and calling it worse than Daggerfall is like comparing oranges and apples. Of course, there could be a greater consistency between games in the series, but it seems like the early 2000s were generally a time of radical changes in game industry, and not a few franchises were drastically transformed, not always to the cheering of fans.

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Werewolf
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Re: I essentially consider Arena and Daggerfall to be a separate series from modern Elder Scrolls

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Morrowind came at a time when games were changing a lot for sure. As I stated before Morrowind was a great soft reboot in a new direction, but unfortunately the games after dumbed it down instead of building upon it. Future Elder Scrolls games could’ve been more accessible then Morrowind but more complex, like how Daggerfall had an easier and simpler starter dungeon then Arena but the game was far more comped (Daggerfall’s starter dungeon is super difficult for modern standards but Arena’s was even more brutal.) Future games could’ve had easier starting areas then Morrowind but didn’t need to be dumbed down or have broken level scaling, just have the starting area be less dangerous and more welcoming and make it easy to prepare players for the more deadly later areas. Future games could’ve modernized the combat by making every attack do damage but they didn’t have to dumb it down like they did. They could’ve removed the dice roll like they did but they also could’ve further fleshed out the combat and made it more advanced and strategic. But they dumbed it down.

Daggerfall toned down much of the difficulty from Arena (at least it intended to.) The starter dungeon was easier, you could save in taverns, all classes could use magic, and enemies no longer lurked towns at night. Yet it was far more complex then Arena, building upon everything from it to become a lot more sophisticated. Morrowind was very difficult for new players like Arena, but it’s sequels translated making the early game easier as dumbing it down. Why? I think as the gaming industry grew and you started having corporate executives become more involved in the creative process, they determined that RPGs being RPGs was the reason why RPGs were very difficult early on in the game. Their solution was to dumb down the entire game instead of making early areas easier. Daggerfall made the starter dungeon a lot easier then Arena’s but the game was 10x more complex and deep. But that was before the game industry became highly corporate. Morrowind unfortunately suffered from its own success in a much larger industry that forced its sequels to be dumbed down instead of building upon it due to executives who don’t understand game design influencing the design of RPGs

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Re: I essentially consider Arena and Daggerfall to be a separate series from modern Elder Scrolls

Post by saddihum »

I think it's true that all the games after the first two are radically different but I disagree that their smaller scale makes them inherently worse. One of the main reasons I enjoy Morrowind so much is that its condensed, carefully hand-crafted world makes every location feel special. It gives me a sense of exploration that I don't get when wandering the wilderness or huge dungeons of Daggerfall.
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