Morrowind “Oral History”

Not about OpenMW? Just about Morrowind in general? Have some random babble? Kindly direct it here.
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Ravenwing
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Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by Ravenwing » 27 Mar 2019, 21:42

Came across this and found it thoroughly enjoyable. Figured you all might enjoy reading about our favorite game :D

We give a lot of shit to Bethesda, but it sheds light on the circumstances that brought Morrowind about. Doesn’t explain why the later titles are so damn buggy, but they get a pass from me on this one.

https://www.polygon.com/platform/amp/20 ... y-bethesda

1Mac
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Re: Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by 1Mac » 27 Mar 2019, 23:49

I’m reading it now, and enjoying it immensely.

Zaric says that Bethesda learned the wrong lessons from the high-pressure environment of Morrowind’s development. Circumstances were such that they shipped a game they knew was full of bugs and made millions of dollars. So even when they had the resources for proper testing, their experience was that it wasn’t something you needed to bother with.

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psi29a
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Re: Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by psi29a » 28 Mar 2019, 10:12

I would argue the other way around... being a perfectionist and only releasing when things are 'perfect' creates an environment you wouldn't want to have either. It unrealistically delays your product and when shit breaks, your users/players will hold you to much higher standards and be even more butt-hurt when shit breaks.

By releasing and 'fixing' after the fact is a better way forward because even having a budget for testers won't catch those bugs that potentially brick your Playstation4 (for example) or cause it to reset/overheat/whatever. That was a PR disaster.

Bethesda has created great games, period, bugs and all. FO76... people shit all over that game. But you know what, they are still making fists full of cash because people like it and it is 'good enough'. The butt-hurt youtube PR train that came about... blown out of proportion for the simple reason that any fuck-tard with a camera will rant about it and cash out... they only post because they know they will get the views and the revenue that comes from slamming Bethesda and other high profile targets. They are trash. Creating stuff is hard, making fun of that stuff and tearing it all down is easy.

What I think Bethesda should work more on is addressing the bugs in their games that do come up and fixing them with patches... and keep patching! Turn the gripes, complaints and more into issues to be tracked and addressed in later patches. Letting modders "Fix" things for you is great, but at least port these into the games in later patches and attribute them in a thank you.

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Re: Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by 1Mac » 28 Mar 2019, 14:39

No one expects games to ship completely bug-free, but Bethesda’s reputation for being particularly prone to buggy releases is not unearned. It predates and has nothing to do with F76. Just look at the old “weird NPC behavior” thread on this very forum for an example.

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psi29a
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Re: Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by psi29a » 28 Mar 2019, 14:53

And yet people still buy their buggy games...

I never said their "buggy" reputation was unearned.
No one expects games to ship completely bug-free,
If this was true, then people wouldn't complain like they do when things break.

I mean, Microsoft has been at this 'game' a long time... people expect that after 30 years, they would stop writing code that ends up deleting user's files during an windows update. Yet there was _less_ people complaining about that particular issue than with the amount of trash talked about Bethesda.

If it was really that bad, then people would stop paying Bethesda and buying their buggy games. What I'm suggesting is that the situation is blown out of proportion by people with megaphones. It gets a lot of attention and yet people keep buying and playing. So they obviously have something that works for them and sadly the only motivation is sales/money. Until that changes then they wont either.

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Ravenwing
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Re: Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by Ravenwing » 28 Mar 2019, 15:21

One of the quotes in the article basically said as much. Something along the lines of we realized we don’t need to ship a perfect game lol.

One of the interesting takeaways for me was how uncoordinated the whole thing was. When we get into these big arguments about how the devs “obviously intended” something, I don’t think we really have any position to say that now. Basically everyone there just kind of did what they wanted. It wasn’t like each design decision was labored over by a committee each time something was implemented.

Another interesting thing was that both Todd and Ashley specifically called mods “modules” not modifications. So let that lay to rest once and for all this whole OpenMW is “technically” a mod :roll:

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Re: Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by Chris » 28 Mar 2019, 16:05

psi29a wrote:
28 Mar 2019, 14:53
And yet people still buy their buggy games...
Because of their other reputation of the games being fun regardless. However, given Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, that reputation has floundered as they've been using up all the good will they've built up. Personally, with as much as I like the TES games, their post-Skyrim behavior has left me very soured on them as a developer and publisher (even Skyrim's forced online DRM sat very negative with me), and I'm no longer really interested in Starfield and TES6 like I want to be. The developers don't seem to understand what made their games fun, and their publishing arm acts like spoiled bullies, and that's not something I can support in good conscience.
If it was really that bad, then people would stop paying Bethesda and buying their buggy games.
By the sounds of it, no one really is buying Fallout 76 with how eager shops are to heavily discount it or give it away for free (despite Bethesda's insistence that it's not going free-to-play). You can't use Fallout 76 as a measuring stick when it's what caused (and continues to cause) the largest turn in peoples' perception of Bethesda. Though it doesn't help that the name Bethesda is mired in confusion about who you're talking about... Bethesda the publisher, Bethesda the developer, and Bethesda the developer-that's-not-Todd's-team. But maybe that's part of the plan, keep people confused about who exactly to be mad at so they don't hold the right group accountable and make it easier forgive a group for something they weren't responsible for.
What I'm suggesting is that the situation is blown out of proportion by people with megaphones. It gets a lot of attention and yet people keep buying and playing.
False correlation. Just because people keep buying and playing doesn't mean there isn't a serious problem, it just means people can't help themselves. People keep buying and playing games with gambling/lootboxes and invasive micro-transactions too, doesn't mean that's not a problem.
So they obviously have something that works for them and sadly the only motivation is sales/money. Until that changes then they wont either.
Which is why the specter of government regulation is looming. Companies act greedy at the expense of consumers, companies refuse to properly self-regulate their problematic behavior because it's making them money, and the government has to step in. You can't rely on consumer behavior as an indication for the company's right or wrongfulness.

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Jemolk
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Re: Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by Jemolk » 28 Mar 2019, 16:12

Honestly, I'd say the major problems and PR disasters with FO76 are less the bugs, and more things like sending people nylon bags when they promised canvas ones. And how apparently pathetic the design is. And not all of us are unconcerned about bugs that don't hose us in particular. I was pretty damn horrified hearing about the Windows 10 update that wiped people's Documents directories, despite not even using Windows anymore.

As for their only motivation being sales/money and that needing to change before anything else does...Well, yes, absolutely. That's a glimpse of one reason why I for one would like to see capitalism replaced.

Regardless, definitely a fascinating read.

@Chris -- Hear, hear! Thank you for picking that apart so comprehensively!

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Re: Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by 1Mac » 28 Mar 2019, 16:56

Um, people are going to be motivated by acquisitiveness even if capitalism is abolished. Besides, that’s not a problem unique to Bethesda. Other game companies are also motivated by profit, but they don’t have Bethesda’s reputation for bugginess.

That reputation is a potential financial liability that Bethesda was recently able to counteract with an equal reputation for fun, unique open-world gameplay. But now that the shine on that reputation for fun has taken some tarnish, that potential financial liability threatens to become actual. I hope Bethesda realizes this and can correct these deficiencies and can really deliver on their next releases. If so, they’ll have corrected course and will be showered with money from relieved consumers. If not, they won’t be able to overcome all the bad PR and will be punished in the marketplace. Capitalism in action!

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Re: Morrowind “Oral History”

Post by psi29a » 28 Mar 2019, 17:43

Chris wrote:
28 Mar 2019, 16:05
False correlation. Just because people keep buying and playing doesn't mean there isn't a serious problem, it just means people can't help themselves. People keep buying and playing games with gambling/lootboxes and invasive micro-transactions too, doesn't mean that's not a problem.
As I have said before: I never said there wasn't a problem. There absolutely is. Bethesda is just not interested in doing anything about it because they don't have to. People still keep buying their stuff, so why should they have to change? If you're the only game in town... hence the Microsoft comparison.
Chris wrote:
28 Mar 2019, 16:05
So they obviously have something that works for them and sadly the only motivation is sales/money. Until that changes then they wont either.
Which is why the specter of government regulation is looming. Companies act greedy at the expense of consumers, companies refuse to properly self-regulate their problematic behavior because it's making them money, and the government has to step in. You can't rely on consumer behavior as an indication for the company's right or wrongfulness.
Really so quick to jump on the government to do the work?

Isn't the reason why people keep giving Bethesda money is because no one else has really delivered what Bethesda has?

I'm still waiting for an single player open-world game based on Forgotten Realms, DragonLance, Greyhawk (TSR/Wizards of the Coast licenses) or even better something based on Midkemia (Raymond E. Feist).

Once there is competition, Bethesda will have to do something.

I mean... seriously, a game company could take OpenMW as-is and make their own game with it (following the rules the GPLv3). Why hasn't anyone?

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