By mdnthrvst 1 Comments
Not long after giving up on Fallout 3, I made the plunge into Morrowind, partly for its fame and partly because my computer couldn't (and still can't) run Oblivion; I could've gotten it for my PlayStation, but I'd had enough of slogging through a Bethesda game on a console, and all I'd heard of it suggested the vanilla experience was not only limited but in some respects outright awful, and the famously pudgy character models didn't much help.
So I bought Morrowind and the first thing I did was follow Knots’ modding guide to the letter; meticulous instructions for installing every code patch, content patch, utility, and scripting fix, along with a gigantic list of graphical updates for nearly every model and texture on Vvardenfell and beyond. I spent a *lot* of time scouring Planet Elder Scrolls for every interesting .esp I could find, the process hugely gratifying and, to me, novel; having never modded a PC game – having not played many PC games at all – the simple act of dragging a dude’s free RAR file into a directory, checking a box on a mod utility, and seeing an immediate improvement to some facet of Morrowind was nearly intoxicating.
Morrowind, on its own, is a fantastic experience, but – and I imagine this is a large contribution to why Bethesda games are so popular – my Morrowind was uniquely my own. I could spend pages lavishing praise on specific mods, including abot’s scenic silt strider travel, Necessities of Morrowind, which introduces cooking, drunkenness, and sleep, the utterly indispensable Better Bodies and Better Heads, Darknut’s Greater Dwemer Ruins – Morrowind may not be the greatest game ever released, but it is, bar none, the greatest I have ever played. I eventually wrote a mod guide of my own (starting off with an insistent pointer to Knots’ instructions), collecting those that were most vital to my experience; I’d still recommend it as a jumping-off point for newcomers, but I haven’t checked the links in a while (Planet Elder Scrolls’ Morrowind mod database had a small aneurysm early last year, and many vital resources were unfortunately lost; feel free to message me if any of the links are broken.)
But I am getting ahead of myself. The Morrowind modding community is great, but few would dispute that it’s Bethesda’s work that ultimately counts. And my, what a job they did.