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Page Created: 12 Nov 2017 00:59
Morrowind: The Elder Scrolls III
I love everything about this RPG except for one thing; the world is too small. But that's because I've compared it to Daggerfall, The Elder Scrolls II. In fact, I'm a big fan of Bethesda Softworks, they have developed some very nice RPG's (but don't get me started on the failure of The Elder Scrolls Online). That being said, Morrowind is probably my all time favorite RPG.
Open World Goodness
The phrase "open world" has been reduced to a buzz phrase that most developers seem intent on using to describe their RPG, no matter what. It's sad but true that many publishers too will invoke any buzz word that they think will attract fresh eyes. There has been a lot of debate over what the phrase "open world" really means and to put it frankly, it's been mind-fucked by publishers looking for any excuse to use the phrase, regardless of whether or not it's an honest description of their game. It doesn't help when sites like Steam let users apply tags to any game, creating even more confusion and screwing up any chance of searching for a game that is relevant to my search term. Sorry, no, Pac-Man is not an RPG.
Open World: The world you play in is totally open, you can go anywhere and do anything you wish. Where you decide to go and what beast you decide to poke may not be the best choice for your limited skills, but it's still your choice. And as you move about the world, you are not constantly herded from point A to point B through choke points. Yes there may be some natural barriers such as a coast line or impassable mountain ridge, but they are few in number and if you want to travel to the land of Nim, then there are many roads to choose from and if you don't like those, then you can travel overland. This is what it means to play an open world RPG or MMORPG.
So when a company like Bethesda Softworks get's it right when they call their game "open world", it's like a shining beacon in a dark world of developer deception. Morrowind is an open world RPG. Oh yes, there are roads, and there are quests to lead you into a specific direction. But you can choose whether or not to follow those roads, or when to follow those roads. I only wish that I could travel a bit further, before hitting that brick wall known as the coast line. But other than that, I enjoy the freedom to progress when and where I like in Morrowind. And since I'm an old-school RPG gamer, I find it impossible to play an RPG that holds your hand every step of the way and blocks your exit from a zone until you've passed some trial.
TES Construction Set
One thing I found myself doing quite often in Morrowind, is looking for places to stash my stuff. Housing was not a standard option in Morrowind, although you could claim places as your own if you decided to, assuming you could get away with it. But Bethesda Softworks was kind enough to release their own public modding tool that allowed for their users to modify the world. Many players used it to create housing, although that is seen by many as an introduction to modding. I'm not a heavy modder, but a few years back I decided to share my Morrowind housing mod. So whatever you felt the game lacked, you could add on your own, to some degree.