Let’s Illustrate Morrowind Part 10: Maybe I’m Overthinking This

Having narrowly avoid assasination Fault goes to spend a few more days grinding conjuration experience. Halfway through a second assassin tries to kill her with the same results as the first. Fortunately Fault discovers that assassin armor sells for a small fortune. Maybe we don’t want to stop them from targeting us after all…

Anyways Fault takes some of that gold and pays a mage guild buddy to teach her three levels of alchemy for reasons that will soon make perfect sense.

Fault then casts one final spell, levels up conjuration again and TADA! new character level.

You level up every time you earn ten points combined between any of your major and minor skills (I thought it was only major and now regret some of my skill choices. Oh well, live and learn).

Time to explain the Morrowind leveling system, which is a mix of several really good ideas spoiled by a couple really bad ones. The same system was used in Oblivion which is why I know so much about it despite still knowing very little about Morrowind.

As you’ve probably noticed you improve skills either by using them or by paying a tutor. This is nifty since it feels realistic to get better at things you practice.

Earning ten levels in your class skills causes your character to level up. This is a nice subtle way to encourage people to focus on class skills without forcing them into it.

When you level up you get extra health based on your endurance as well as a chance to add a bonus to three of your stats. These bonuses range from +1 to +5 depending on which skills you used during your last level. This is cool because it makes sense someone who spent a level at learning how to use swords would get more strength while someone who spent a level casting spells would get intelligence.

Now here’s the bad part: Once you level up the counter that keeps track of stat growth gets reset.

So earn too few skill points and you get a weak level with bad stat bonuses, which means you might hit max level before maxing out your stats.

But earn too many skill points and you wind up having wasted bonuses, which means you might run out of skills for earning stat bonuses before you hit max level.

Either way your character is permanently crippled.

So to avoid this you want to earn just enough skills to increase three stats by the max of +5 without wasting any skill points. Anything else puts you at risk of permanently crippling your character.

If you spent more time planning your last character build than you did planning your last semester of college you might be an RPG gamer.

If you spent more time planning your last character build than you did planning your last semester of college you might be an RPG gamer.

That’s why Fault has been using a spear. The spear skill is linked to endurance so by making sure we earned exactly ten skill points we unlocked +5 to endurance.

After we hit that point we then forced a level up by grinding Conjuring. Since we had accidentally (but naturally) earned a few points of Athletics and Unarmored we only needed six or so points of conjuration to level up.

This is a problem though because that isn’t enough Conjuration to earn a full +5 to intelligence, which Fault really needs in order to expand her mana pool. That’s why right before leveling up she went and got a bunch of training in Alchemy which also keys off of intelligence.

She then leveled up and as you can see had access to +5 endurance from her carefully monitored spear skills, +5 to intellignece from her carefully monitored conjuration and alchemy and +3 to speed from her accidental levels in unarmored and athletics.

Of these options she grabbed the two +5s she really wanted but skipped out on speed in exchange for +1 to luck. There are no luck skills so that’s as much as she’ll ever get during a level. But get it she will because Fault is still a Luck Knight at heart.

Now I can’t promise every level will be as good as this one, but I am going to try and max out Fault’s endurance as early as possible and get at least +3s and +4s for the rest of the game. This will mostly involve focusing my gameplay on just one or two skills at a time.