Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Not about OpenMW? Just about Morrowind in general? Have some random babble? Kindly direct it here.
Chris
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by Chris » 24 Jan 2018, 04:13

I like certain types of consumables, but not for immediate instant use. They should basically be resources that aid you in surviving long durations between being in towns and cities. So rather than carrying around dozens of potions that you spam as-needed during combat, you essentially go through combat with whatever you had prepared going in, and instead use them to help restore yourself in between encounters. Such consumables should be extremely rare to find and exceedingly expensive to buy if oyu happen to find a seller, so you're lucky if you have half a dozen total (not per-type) at any one time.

Making them work over time is also a must. Avoid instant effects (or <= 1 second durations) like the plague. They should also be largely limited to restoratives (or poisons, once those are implemented). Potions that give effects like levitation, night-eye, etc, should be non-existent; those are spell effects, and giving them to the player via potions is basically saying "we need you to be a mage even if you didn't roll one, so here's a workaround to get you through regardless" (scrolls are a problem with this too).

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Jemolk
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by Jemolk » 24 Jan 2018, 04:21

For my part, I actually like that weight has actual meaning in Morrowind. Better that than simply being an arbitrary cap on how much junk you can carry IMHO. If it's the latter, may as well remove it altogether, because that's just an annoyance. At least this way it has an impact before you hit a magical arbitrary number that just stops you dead in your tracks or slows you to a crawl. The inventory does need improvement, though. Mainly sorting by various criteria and combinations of criteria. The spell menu also needs to be sortable by magic school and effect. Why? Because I really hate workarounds that involve altering the damn name. Same with renaming items to make them group together. It just feels too game-y.

I very much like your AI improvement ideas. Just please don't remove the diceroll combat. I do want to add dodging animations for when an attack misses, though. The fact that you somehow didn't hit the rat that your sword passed through is a fairly common complaint, and I agree, even though I like the mechanics themselves very much. It would make much more sense how that occurred if the rat dodged backwards and to the side so your sword actually visually missed.

Levelling is an annoying min-maxing mess, I agree. I'm a power gamer that wants to be a role-player, so Morrowind's system doesn't sit well with me. I use Talrivian's State-based HP and Linora's Levelling Mod x5 at the moment so that I don't have to break character in order to level well.

Speaking of character breaking, I really, really want a mod that makes quest reward items able to be stolen from the relevant questgivers so that if you don't intend to ever do the quests for roleplay reasons, if your character is okay with a little light thievery from their enemies, you can still get the stuff, meaning no impulse for obsessive power-gamers to break character by doing quests our character would never do just for the rewards.

A stolen item overhaul would also be nice. Some mechanism for essentially laundering the damn things so they aren't treated as stolen. Perhaps make ingredients not track any amount stolen, things like that.

I also want to be able to make Bound Armor and Weapon on touch spells. And Bound Clothes and Bound Jewelery spells. That can be made into on touch versions. Why? Oh, no reason. Really. Don't worry about it. I definitely don't intend to go around robbing rich NPCs I dislike of their armor, weapon and clothes and leaving them to wander town naked after the bound equipment has worn off. >.>

I also detest consumables, but for a very different reason -- I'm a hoarder. I collect the damn things and never use them, because there's always going to be a better time to use them 20 hours in the future, even when there's 10 seconds left before the credits roll and you restart or play something else.

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Thunderforge
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by Thunderforge » 24 Jan 2018, 04:59

Chris wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:13
Potions that give effects like levitation, night-eye, etc, should be non-existent; those are spell effects, and giving them to the player via potions is basically saying "we need you to be a mage even if you didn't roll one, so here's a workaround to get you through regardless" (scrolls are a problem with this too).
The logical conclusion of this is that if you aren't a mage, you can't levitate to certain areas etc, which a lot of players, me included, aren't happy with ("I got to replay the game to see that!?"). One of my favorite little moments in Morrowind was coming to the Telvanni towers for the first time and being told that I had to get a potion to levitate "because mages don't bother with stairs". I thought that was really unique and makes perfect sense; if you're a mage, why not fly around all over the place? But of course, you can't have a place like that be so integral to the plot and have non-mages not be allowed. Personally, I'm okay with the compromise, but partly because I tend to hoard consumables so having to use a potion is a pain point for me.
Jemolk wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:21
I also detest consumables, but for a very different reason -- I'm a hoarder. I collect the damn things and never use them, because there's always going to be a better time to use them 20 hours in the future, even when there's 10 seconds left before the credits roll and you restart or play something else.
Yeah, that's my problem too.I found that I didn't do Alchemy much in Morrowind not because I didn't think it was useful, but because I would always hang on to the rarer ingredients "in case I needed it later" or would otherwise have remorse over using it. Heck, I don't even do archery because I'm stingy with arrows!

The games where I tend to not fall into that behavior are ones where it is immediately clear that hoarding isn't valuable. For instance, if you can only carry a certain number of X, and you wind up regularly encountering far more than that number, then you know you're not going to be missing out if you start using X. Also, if it's not financially worthwhile to be a cluttermonkey grabbing every last arrow or scrib jelly, then I tend to let it go.

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raevol
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by raevol » 24 Jan 2018, 05:23

More and more thoughtful input, thank you guys! It's always good to hear agreements and counter-arguments, to understand how other people enjoy things. I have my ways, but I'm only one person!
Jemolk wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:21
Talrivian's State-based HP and Linora's Levelling Mod x5
First, it's funny how so many mods have Vancian naming conventions, I never realized that until now. Second, do you have links to these? Most on google are dead.

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Berandas
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by Berandas » 24 Jan 2018, 11:47

raevol wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 00:44
each hotkey only corresponds to one item, and when you press it, the potion is drank.
So you're asking for some sort of quick-use menu that was in Skyrim? I would like an all-time UI visualisation of the quick-use slots, if they're ffilled (similar to Minecraft or such games), because when you're playing tes3mp for example, there is often no time to find out what you bound to what key, if you don't spam health potions in time = you're dead.

Also noone said that you would have to stay static while performing the cunsumable action, that would actually be pretty silly. (Here the problem is with how games evolved and got the speed of today's life. Everything needs to be fast and immediate, so it's consumed and we can move on, which can actually harm the gameplay/immersion in some cases, like the use of fast trave for example.)

However what we can probably all agree on, is that using unlimited number of potions while in menumode in the middle of combat is actually very poor game mechanic.
Having to do your preparations before combat, or think and invent new solutions to various problems is simply much more engaging and immersive.
Chris wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:13
...poisons, once those are implemented.
Yes, the actual use of poisons, that's another thing I would like to see in my MW.
Also I would like to disagree with the claim, that potions and scrolls should be removed, because you can become a mage. Thy serve the purpose of equalisation of possibilities for different classes. And while we all know, that the unequality in MW was actually something that shaped it's character and created an actual believability, in this case I think it would harm the game.
Jemolk wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:21
Mainly sorting by various criteria and combinations of criteria. The spell menu also needs to be sortable by magic school and effect.
Exactly, adding filters to all sorts of windows is another real necessity.
Jemolk wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:21
I collect the damn things and never use them, because there's always going to be a better time to use them 20 hours in the future, even when there's 10 seconds left before the credits roll and you restart or play something else.
That was also my case, same with re-loading everything to get the best result of every decision. But at one point I just realised it's for no good and it's just creating the unnecessary stress. Similarly to real life, you always find some way to solve a problem if it actually arises, be it the lack of potions while deep in dungeons, or not getting all the coins from a reward.
Having to avoid all those bad situations and invent solutions is actually the fun of playing.


One of the reasons why we will always have some sort of disagreement about how MW should be, is because of it's unique modularity. Every single one of us shaped their MW to their liking, powergamers can have fun with maxing everthing and breaking game mechanics, grinders and collectors can add more things to farm on or collect, roleplayers can do quests and roleplay...all their needs differ.
We're mostly talking about "playing" the game and looking for better gaming experience, but for me it's not exactly the only thing I want from Morrowind. I want to "live" the game, while this might sound silly to many of you, for me the Morrowind is some sort of sanctuary, an escape point from this world which I can move into, move back in time to 2002, when I didn't have to worry about RL stuff and everything was much calmer and brighter, it's about memories and emotions.
I sometimes don't have time, mood or energy to play, so I actually just turn Morrowind on, wander around, watch it's calm stoic world, travel around by a boat, watch the sunset, listen to the wind and music. I want just to sit in the tavern among other dunmer and peacefully drink a bottle of Sujamma. You may call this roleplay or something if you wish, but that's the experience I was modding for years and that's the goal I am going towards.

TriangleTooth
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by TriangleTooth » 24 Jan 2018, 14:20

One thing I wondered about, and was mentioned here earlier is the annoyance of specific skill requirements for getting promoted in factions, which encourages grinding for those last few points.

I wondered if it would be possible to replace those hard skill checks with in-game exams that are set up to give leeway but will ultimately disallow the grossly underqualified to beat them. Obviously any in-game thing like this risks being cheese-able but you could minimise this by limiting the player.

For example, to get a promotion in say the fighter's guild rather than say "you must have skill level 30 in one skill and 15 in two" have "Defeat this level x character 1v1 using only the weapons provided, using potions and magic will disqualify you and you can only fight in this small room". You could also add time limits etc. to ensure you couldn't just kite them forever.

That would effectively allow you to prove you had the right skill levels but be lenient as to which skills you had and wouldn't require specific numbers. Obviously this system becomes less workable for other types of factions though (stealth obstacle courses for the thieves' guild? Labyrinths that require you use various spell effects to pass for mages? Dialogue boss-fights for Hlaalu?)

Just an idea that's been floating around in my head. The hard requirements always felt a bit game-y, how does my boss know I have exactly 30 long blade?

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Jemolk
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by Jemolk » 24 Jan 2018, 19:46

raevol wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 05:23
More and more thoughtful input, thank you guys! It's always good to hear agreements and counter-arguments, to understand how other people enjoy things. I have my ways, but I'm only one person!
Jemolk wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:21
Talrivian's State-based HP and Linora's Levelling Mod x5
First, it's funny how so many mods have Vancian naming conventions, I never realized that until now. Second, do you have links to these? Most on google are dead.
Sure do!

Talrivian's State-Based HP: http://mw.modhistory.com/download-61-6521

Linora's Levelling Mod: http://mw.modhistory.com/download-15-12299

Morrowind Modding History is fantastic. If ever you can't find an old mod, try searching there.
Thunderforge wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:59
Jemolk wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:21
I also detest consumables, but for a very different reason -- I'm a hoarder. I collect the damn things and never use them, because there's always going to be a better time to use them 20 hours in the future, even when there's 10 seconds left before the credits roll and you restart or play something else.
Yeah, that's my problem too.I found that I didn't do Alchemy much in Morrowind not because I didn't think it was useful, but because I would always hang on to the rarer ingredients "in case I needed it later" or would otherwise have remorse over using it. Heck, I don't even do archery because I'm stingy with arrows!

The games where I tend to not fall into that behavior are ones where it is immediately clear that hoarding isn't valuable. For instance, if you can only carry a certain number of X, and you wind up regularly encountering far more than that number, then you know you're not going to be missing out if you start using X. Also, if it's not financially worthwhile to be a cluttermonkey grabbing every last arrow or scrib jelly, then I tend to let it go.
Don't even do archery because you're too stingy with arrows? Now here, finally, is another hoarder after my own heart! Hahaha! And yeah, if there's a hard cap on how many of an item you can carry that you can be constantly refilling to, there's not much, if any, pressure. Been playing Redguard lately, and with a hard cap of 500 gold carried and more health potions than you can use, I finally stopped hoarding them. Plus an infinitely refillable 20 health potion bottle. I finally encountered consumables that I don't just stash in a chest for some indefinable "later."

tomangelo
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by tomangelo » 24 Jan 2018, 20:04

Exams system sounds interesting, but might be indeed hard to do. For mage guild it could be set of quests like "Make a weapon with such effects", so you need to enchant some weapon and give it some effects, then you try and try enchanting it, finally completing it and checking one of quest. There would be more quests like this for other skills, but no need for making all of them, just 3/5 quests and you got higher rank. With each rank, requirements would be higher, so lower ranks needs you to enchant "Deal 5 fire damage on hit", when higher "Deal 50 fire damage absorb condition for 2 seconds".

Chris
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by Chris » 24 Jan 2018, 20:21

Thunderforge wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:59
I thought that was really unique and makes perfect sense; if you're a mage, why not fly around all over the place?
That's kind of my problem with the concept. Given how powerful levitation is in regards to avoiding confrontations and bypassing defenses, it doesn't make any sense to be readily available. Particularly as we never see anyone using it. Why walk when you can fly, getting over any obstacle. Why are there stairs at all? When you think about it, Oblivion's tongue-in-cheek reference to the Levitation Act actually makes complete sense for a society that has the capability of personal on-demand flight.
But of course, you can't have a place like that be so integral to the plot and have non-mages not be allowed.
Hence my point, "we need you to be a mage even if you didn't roll one, so here's a workaround to get you through regardless". I'd like to see those places be redesigned so that all the important stuff for non-mage quests is reachable by normal means. Either adding stairs, moving it to the outside, or have the option to say "I can't levitate," and when it becomes relevant you're told "So and so has agreed to meet you at the lower floors of their tower," where you can then find them for that stage of the quest.

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Jemolk
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Re: Thoughts on game mechanics in Morrowind

Post by Jemolk » 24 Jan 2018, 21:28

Chris wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 20:21
Thunderforge wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 04:59
But of course, you can't have a place like that be so integral to the plot and have non-mages not be allowed.
Hence my point, "we need you to be a mage even if you didn't roll one, so here's a workaround to get you through regardless". I'd like to see those places be redesigned so that all the important stuff for non-mage quests is reachable by normal means. Either adding stairs, moving it to the outside, or have the option to say "I can't levitate," and when it becomes relevant you're told "So and so has agreed to meet you at the lower floors of their tower," where you can then find them for that stage of the quest.
But the problem with that is, the Telvanni wouldn't do that. I dunno, maybe someone could lend you an enchanted item with Levitate or help you figure out where to find one, but your proposed solutions are totally out of character for, say, Master Neloth or Archmagister Gothren. They WANT it to be hard to reach them, and they're not going to coddle some pathetic (in their minds) non-mage who isn't even powerful enough to learn to levitate. They're elitist ancient wizards with huge egos, not elected politicians. If you can't get to them, you're not worth their time as far as they're concerned. Seriously, Neloth's default greeting is "Whatever it is you want, the answer's no." When you need to get him to support you as Hortator, do you really think he's going to come to you?

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