Let’s Illustrate Morrowind Part 11: Are We Having Fun Yet?

Last time I bored most of you to death by explaining exactly how to manipulate the Morrowind leveling system to make sure you get perfect stats.

Now as you might suspect constantly worrying about accidentally earning the wrong skillpoints for your build does drain a lot of fun out of the game, a problem they probably could have solved by just letting you boost all of your stats when you leveled instead of picking just three. Instead the just gave up on stats entirely come Skyrim which may have been a step too far in the direction of less frustrating gameplay. Oh well.

Also, my misunderstanding of whether or not minor skills influenced leveling means Fault is now stuck with the number one worst skill for carefully planned builds: Athletics. This skill slowly levels up every time you move, making it almost impossible to predict when and where you will level up.

To try and counteract this I send Fault to the fighter’s guild and have her spend most of her cash on ten levels of training in heavy armor. She’ll probably never use it but it’s an endurance linked skill that qualifies her for a +5 bonus next time she levels up. I then send her down to the dojo and through the miracle of the auto-run button have her jog in place in the corner while I go off and play Monster Hunter.

Just smile and nod at the protagonist and try not to make eye contact.

Just smile and nod at the protagonist and try not to make eye contact.

By the time I come back she’s just about to earn her tenth level of athletics, triggering another level up and letting us bag a perfect level: +5 endurance, +5 speed, +1 luck and with no skill points wasted. Nice.

I then start planning how to best raise endurance and int again by alternating between spear training and conjuration practice only to realize that I’m not having any fun. This is supposed to be a game of mystery and adventure, not a giant virtual pet training sim.

And that is ultimately what’s wrong with the Morrowind leveling system. It makes you so worried about learning the wrong skills at the wrong time that you’d rather hang around in town grinding skills with busy work instead of going out into a dungeon and risking a stray point in the wrong armor skill.

So new rule: No more skill grinding. It’s boring for me as a player and boring for you as a reader. Besides, Fault already has near perfect endurance and that’s the only stat that really needs to be carefully manipulated. Everything else is realistically just fine with +3 bonuses per level and I think I can pull that off by just being smart about how I play and saving up cash for hiring the right skill trainers at the right moment.