Why I don't like Morrowind/Oblivion's Levelup System

Discussion in 'Games' started by Xylia, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Iris Blanche

    Iris Blanche Pudding Paradox Forum Moderator

    Aaaaaand nooooow i want to remind everyone here to stay calm and keep it civil. :nuruhappy:
    Discussing about all those stuff is totally fine and everyone has their own opinion but getting somehow personal because they don't share the same opinion is an absolutely no-no. :nurushock:

    Regards
    Iris Blanche
     
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  2. MilkCalf

    MilkCalf Supernova

    Nah, I didn't lose my objectivity. Was I angry, 'cause you insulted a friend of mine? Yes, but that hardly matters. The rage doesn't control me, I control the rage. That's why I can see that you have a few good points amidst that sea of bullshit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
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  3. Firebird Zoom

    Firebird Zoom Master Astronaut

    Please fix the spelling here, it's bugging me.
     
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  4. ManaUser

    ManaUser Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I mean walking. I donno what to tell you, your experience just doesn't match mine. This isn't a huge shock, since race, class and sign all effect your stats. But I never saw any reason to think the PC is slower than an NPC with the same stats. I haven't performed a scientific test though, could do it if you're interested. It would be easy enough.

    Oh there are definitely places that have to be walked to, no doubt about that. I guess I just didn't see it as such a big problem. Possibly because I do have fun walking there, often as not.

    I actually went and fired up Morrowind for the first time in ages and tested this. Still confused. You said "Even if you take a magic as a Major Skill, you get at best, 40% chance to succeed at casting a spell." Are you complaining that despite taking a different magic skill as primary you fail destruction spells this often? Because that's simply not true for easy spells you are actually skilled in. My test character—35 Destrusion, 40 Willpower (note that this, not intelligence is the stat effecting most magic), Combat specialization (not magic) and no other bonuses or penalties—can cast firebite 83% of the time, and your spell 89%. Is this still to harsh? I donno, maybe it is. But it's pretty far from every spell having a 60% failure rate.

    Obviously I didn't find it as bad as all that in Morrowind... but I will say this: I tried playing "hardcore" once, and I did not get very far. I think it's designed with the assumption you will just reload if you go somewhere too dangerous and die. I can definitely understand not liking that. I'm not a big fan of it either. But for me, the idea that you could level-up "wrong" and it would be a bad thing, not even just a missed opportunity, but you actually get weaker in practical terms, is so ass-backward that it's almost a deal-breaker.

    Yes, that makes some sense too. Ideally a system could reflect both, perhaps only at low skills would you frequently miss outright, and once you get to mid-skill level it's more about maximizing your damage. But as far as the immersion-breaking aspect, I think the trick would be to find a way to present misses to the player visually. Maybe show the enemy NPC dodging with a suitable animation. Somewhat of a mixed metaphor, but not too unreasonable since an unskilled fighter may be telegraphing their attacks and such.

    Though if you say it feels better in Skyrim, maybe it's just a matter of tweaking the formulas. I never played that one so I can't comment.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  5. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    Haven't played Skyrim?

    You should, if you ever get the chance/extra money/what-not. Now, Skyrim isn't perfect either -- they did do some controversial things (like removing Spellmaking), but I can understand why they did it, and no it wasn't to "dumb the game down" like everybody whines about. Skyrim has you learning spells by finding (or buying) Spell Tomes that you read to learn the spell. They also have the ability to dual-wield spells -- you could put a Lightning Bolt spell in one hand, and maybe a Healing Spell in the other. Or maybe a Fireball spell. Or maybe a shielding spell (those exist in Skyrim). Or you can put the same spell in both hands, and with a certain perk you get out of the Destruction Tree, if you cast both spells simultaneously, you get a bonus and a different spell animation (you put your two hands together and the projectile is larger and does more damage). And then there are the "Epic" Spells, when you are Lv100 of each magic tree. Etc.

    But anyways, I can see why they got rid of Spellmaking -- that would have been a horrible thing to try to get that to work with the dual-cast system.

    Anyways, moving on.... what kind of mod(s) do you have for Morrowind? Maybe one of them is affecting it... I had to install a few mods just to get the thing to run (it crashes constantly otherwise without them) and I'll check my stats, maybe even do screenshots sometime. That, or maybe it just jumps sharply at 40 compared to 30? *shrugs* Either way I just remember that when my character was like 15 Destruction and 30-40 in all stats, the succeed on that 1 damage spell was in the 20s.

    Ah well. either way.

    Oh, and... ever played Fallout 3 or New Vegas? The level/stats system you see in those two games would have also been a nice alternative. They let you keep stats.... but yet your character never feels broken, there's a lot less potential for breaking game balance.... but the tradeoff is that you lose the "use this skill to level it up", which is a mixture of good and bad. If you've never played it, you have set-in-stone stats in Strength, Endurance, Agility, Perception, Intelligence, and Luck and they range from 1 to 10, though it IS possible to raise or lower them, but it is very rare that you can do so. You get XP from quests, kills, etc. Get enough XP, get levelup. Get Levelup, get X number of points to spend to increase your various skills.

    While a part of me enjoys the "use this skill to level it up" that we see in Elder Scrolls games, in all practicality, the Fallout way (it's called "SPECIAL") just works better balance-wise and general playability.
     
  6. ManaUser

    ManaUser Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Mods, oh that's a good point. I just checked again with no mods on my end, that didn't seem to make a difference in spell-casting though. It seems unlikely you had a mod that made it harder, but I wouldn't rule it out if you used some kind of "ultimate morrwind tweak pack" sort of mod, who knows what's in there. The only other thing that comes to mind... could it be your characters suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome? If you constantly run so your fatigue bar zeros out that is gonna make things harder.

    On Skyrim, while "dumbing down" is obviously pejorative, it would be fair to say the Elder Scrolls games have been simplified in terms of mechanics every step of the way. Less skills, less customization (other than visual), then in Skyrim they finally decided to take out attributes completely. Defenders would say this allows a more "focused" or perhaps "deep" game design, but I can't blame people don't like that tradeoff.

    I played New Vages since I heard it was the better of the two, and yeah the level up system (like the original Fallout 1 and 2) is well done. The use-to-improve system is nice in theory, but I think it would be better for a game that ditches levels entirely. e.g. Gain skill with blunt weapons, your strength goes up too. The end. It's the way it interacts with leveling up in Morrowind and Oblivion that makes it frustrating.

    Deathtraps not withstanding, Morrowind is really a rather easy game in terms of combat though, so you can pretty much just ignore the level-up weirdness and you won't end up with a crippled character or anything.
     
  7. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    Is it really that easy? hmm.

    I'll try and not sweat getting *3 or lower as much, then. In that playthrough I just started, I was lucky enough to get three *5s on the first levelup and last I played, I was scratching my head because I'm only Lv2 and I'm wondering how to beef stats a bit before I end up getting a levelup, lol.

    That, and I'm kinda lost and not even sure what to even do next lol.
     
  8. ManaUser

    ManaUser Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    When I say it's easy, I mean with the exception of the content in the expansions which does seem designed to be more challenging, you aren't really pressured to fight dangerous enemies if you don't want to. You can almost always turn around and try again when you're stronger, and you get pretty damn strong even without carefully managing level ups. You can of course push yourself and try to beat enemies stronger than you if you want to.

    On not knowing what to do, well the glib answer would be "whatever you want"! It's not a building game of course, but it's very sandboxy in the sense of not trying to push you to do anything particular. I like that, but would concede it may take that too far at times. The main quest for instance is has branching paths and how to proceed is not always clear.

    Generally though if you just want to explore the game, picking a guild or two and doing quests for them is a good choice.
     
  9. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    I suppose I do have Mages' and Thieves' guild quests that send me to Al'druhn... could start there lol. Hopefully if I have to do any fighting, I end up with mobs I can actually kill lol.

    Oh, and I just remembered I never did that Egg Mine quest for Hlaalu yet... that has some fighting there. It's just I'm Lv2 and I'm kinda thinking I should get some more skill, but I can wander for hours and not see a single enemy or if I do it's something stupid like a mudcrab or maggot or something that won't give me much of anything.
     
  10. ManaUser

    ManaUser Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Oh yeah, I remember that one, it can be a little tough with a begining character as I recall. But of course you do advance skills even when fighting weak enemies, the only reason you'd get less out of it is that they take less hits to kill.

    It's possible, even probable, I'm a bit biased on Morrowind since it was the first modern (which is a stretch at this point) open world game I got into. I recognize it has many faults, but I find the easy-going (maybe that's a better term than just "easy") gameplay makes it possible to overlook them.
     
  11. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    I did that egg mine... it was rather easy, though I had to reload because of a stupid disease.

    Though, on my way to the mine, I found this other cave. Some guy with an axe killed me in 3 hits. I hit him... once... and it barely scratched him even though he had no armor. lol. That was kinda cheap. Some random dude in a cave that is uber-strong for no apparent reason other than "LOL YOU SHOULD NOT GO HERE YET". Ah well.

    Did that, and some more Hlaalu quests (that idiot with the dwarven axe was easy too). Oh, and Dark Brotherhood Assassins... first one gave me a free suit of armor. Second one gave me like 2k gold (from selling the extra armor). They are wimps, but they wear quite expensive armor. So ya, not in any hurry to report their assassination attempts to the guards.

    EDIT: Is it just me, or is Alchemy entirely overpowered? I wanted to advance in the Mages' Guild, but they required a magic-type skill at 30. I don't have anything at 30 except for Restoration (which doesn't count). I saw that Alchemy was indeed on the list, and I'm like "I remember this old trick..." so I went to Narya (or whatever name is) in Balmora. Bought Muck and Scales. Made Drain Personality potions. Sold potions. Did this until I was Lv30 Alchemy (and cleaned out most of that poor vendor's gold in so doing).

    Stepped outside and then noticed I had some extra materials on me for other kinds of potions... made a Restore Health potion that heals 6 per second for 18 seconds, and a Restore Fatigue that does 19 over 42 (!!!!) seconds. Dude. I'm only 30 and this is how powerful potions are? I'm only using Journeyman alchemy equipment... that's not even the Master stuff that said alchemist sells.

    Oi.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  12. ManaUser

    ManaUser Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Yes, alchemy is broken. That's not even the worst of it. The worst (and I advise against doing this because it's so completely game-breaking) is that alchemy is based on intelligence, and you can make fortify intelligence potions. This can be used to create a feedback loop.

    But it sounds like you're having some fun at least.
     
  13. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    I've heard of alchemy is broken, but I assumed that one had to do at least some work to get to the overpowered bits, kinda like in Skyrim, you had to go out of your way to break Smithing/Alchemy/Enchanting by looping them (smith up some dragon armor... drink fortify enchanting potions... enchant armor with fortify alchemy, rinse repeat until you end up with ridiculous fortify smithing so you can make armor that makes you invincible and weapons that one-shot everything).
     
  14. LilyV3

    LilyV3 Master Astronaut

    never played skyrim that far, at some point your character kinda became a walking god and that only half thruogh the mainstory. Kinda demotivated me to play further which led me to never play the game again. Skyrim felt way too easy and enemies way too derp compared to morrorwind.
     
  15. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    You say that, but I'm only Level 2 and a half in Morrowind and I just got rewarded three pieces of GLASS ARMOR from a relatively easy quest (as long as you dodge that one guy's spells which is not hard to do, what, with all of the corners and everything near him). Seriously this is ridiculous, lol.

    And I now have 11,000 gold on me, and I'm holding a full suit of Dark Brotherhood Armor which is probably worth another 3-4k, so I probably have close to 15,000 gold on me.

    The only "hard" part about Morrowind is trying to understand their vague directions to junk... but then again, there's an interactive map on UESP wiki.
     
  16. ManaUser

    ManaUser Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    The Dark Brotherhood armor is another one of those broken things, in many players opinion. I have a personal mod for reducing the amount of it you get. This whole Dark Brotherhood attack thing comes from the Tribunal expansion and I don't feel like it was thought out very well. It doesn't make sense to send an incompetent goon out wearing armor worth a small fortune. For that matter it doesn't make much sense that someone is trying to assassinate you when you're a nobody.
     
  17. LilyV3

    LilyV3 Master Astronaut


    well the expansions were originally made to to be done after the palyer already did things in the world. especially the tribunal one is really not firring well nto the entire series when you think about retsarting the game.
    They should have made the aassassins only appear after a specifric level. I really liked the story of Tribunal, but the entire equipment there was kinda OP and made stuff too easy, gettign a goblin club early grants you one of the best one hand maces supereasily or their swords -.-
     
  18. ManaUser

    ManaUser Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Yeah, that would have made more narrative sense. I originally played Tribunal back when it was new and yeah it seems fine if you're coming in with a high-level character. But how did they not consider that people would continue starting new games, long after the expansion was released? It's just one of those things though. I'm glad they made the hook for Bloodmoon less intrusive. But even that seems like something they could have hidden from brand new characters, It's not like they have any business rushing off Solstheim anyway.
     
  19. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    Well, that only reinforces the point that Morrowind is just as "easy" or "broken" as Skyrim, and no, you can't say "Oh, that's because of this expansion" because that Expansion, once released, is a part of the game, just like Skyrim's expansions are a part of its game.

    But hey, at least you don't have vampires or assassins showing up and murdering random townsfolk trying to get to you like you do in Skyrim... one of the few things Skyrim did that I really don't agree with. Vampires should NOT be murdering important, unique townsfolk. I end up either using console commands or just re-loading a save if, say, that blacksmith in Whiterun gets killed (which she almost always does at some point because of the stupid vampire attacks).

    But anyways, that still doesn't explain the Glass Armor at nearly the beginning of the game, lol. It's the best unenchanted Light Armor, which is better than most Medium Armors, and you get half a suit out of a very early quest. But then I suppose that goes right along with the Ebony pieces you see laying around in the shops, that you can easily buy once you do some Alchemy (which is entirely broken in of itself, as mentioned earlier in the thread), if you'd rather go for heavier armor.

    Or how about the Grandmaster/Master alchemy tools that everybody and their sister has laying around in the open? Just need ONE lucky sneak attempt while an NPC's back is turned and.... fwip. You got yourself a ridiculously expensive and powerful item.

    Or I personally like how you can step into a bookstore and read all the skill books without ever purchasing them, lol. Easy skilling.

    So please don't talk to me about how "too easy" Skyrim is when Morrowind is just as bad, if not worse, for broken mechanics that destroy challenge in the game.
     
  20. LilyV3

    LilyV3 Master Astronaut

    no it does nto make it as easy as skyrim, because in morrorwind you ened to knwo these thinsg first otherwise you will not really get them that early. but Skyrim never had any "hard" stuff even if you know nothing. You really need to mess up your character to even fail.

    with some work in Morrorwind you get anythign bought anyways. Just make sure you have alchemy not as a main skill or secondary. Grab those 500 moniez form the tree stump and then go tot he mage guilds HQ and brew potions until you have alchemy 100. After this you can make potions just for the money. With the healing potions this makes evertyhing much more easy as well. Yet skyrim was the most casual experience in my opinion so far.
     

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