Let’s Illustrate Morrowind Part 19: Crimes Against The Player

Fault hauls her most recent research notes back to Caius, who recognizes her skill at fetch quests and exposition listening by granting her the rank of Apprentice in the Blades. He then mentions it might take him some time to finish analyzing this most recent information and that if Fault wants to go off and do some adventuring now would be great time for it.

I just want to point out how really well done that is. Most open world games insist on pretending their main plot is super urgent which leaves players with a bad choice between A) Playing along with the plot and missing out on side quests or B) Breaking their own immersion by calling the plot’s bluff and doing side quests even though there’s an “urgent” problem waiting for them.

And it’s not like this is a hard problem to avoid. Just make sure your open world plot has a few natural breaking points where it would make sense for the player to go off and do their own thing for a bit. That’s all we really want.

Anyways, Fault figures it’s about time she gets on with her mage training and dumps a bunch of assassin loot cash to get some nice intelligence related skills. She also hints to the guild leader that it sure would be nice to rank up but apparently her growing magical prowess isn’t enough on her own: The guild master really wants those dues from that one rogue wizard we politely decided not to murder several updates ago.

So off Fault goes to brave the volcano once again. Making things even more interesting is the fact that according to Morrowind’s crazy leveling system Fault really needs to level up her unarmed skills before using too much magic and let me tell you punching a flying dinosaur bat out of the air with your bare hands is not an easy task!

Morrowind's combat system isn't exactly what you would call elegant

Morrowind’s combat system isn’t exactly what you would call elegant

Fault finally arrives at the cave of the evil mage tax avoider and is more than ready to beat her to death for the crime of making a protagonist cross through cliff racer volcano territory twice. But just to be polite I give diplomacy one last try and by a stroke of luck make a good enough impression that the mage agrees to fork over 2000 gold in late payments.

Which is nice because I really wasn’t looking forward to murdering someone over membership fees. We’re supposed to be the hero here, right?