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Just beat Tribunal, meaning I'm effectively done with Morrowind. Tribunal sucks, I shouldn't have left it for last.
Morrowind is an old game made by a dying company so it clearly lacks polish, but what is there is really good. I wouldn't say I can understand why the fans would dislike Oblivion and Skyrim , rather I can't understand how they aren't more upset at those games for removing everything that made Morrowind fun.
You have a lot of freedom to fuck around with magic stuff, the teleport magics and illusion spells are extremely useful, and being able to and being able to either use speechcraft and call a guy the n-word and the f-word (N'wah and fetcher) repeatedly until he's upset, or just use magic to make him want to kill you, to then abuse self defense laws is really neat.
The world and lore are really interesting and certainly worth Kirkbride's sanity.
That said, quest choice being just choosing which quests to do, as opposed to choices within the quests, is something I'm not sure I like or not. I can understand why they wouldn't want fallout-tier choices but I'd still like the option to say different things to different NPCs, as opposed to your answer to the first NPC dictating your automatic response to the second NPC as quests are strict lines.
I do have 3 things I actually disliked about the base game though, enchanting which I've already spammed the RPG thread about, melee combat, and directions.
Also the soundtrack is kinda shit and I hate it when Caprice drowns out the Daedric princes voices, making them look like pussies, but that's understandable given the circumstances.
Melee combat has directional attacks and normal and heavy attacks, different weapons have different ranges and different speeds. However, normal attacks are useless and the only reason you'd ever use them is because the game never teaches you that heavy attacks exist. Directional attacks include one objectively superior attack and two shit attacks, there's no reason to not toggle "best attack only"; the only exception are the last two weapons you get from the Tribunal quest, as they have two good directional attacks(slash with constant high damage, and chop with higher max damage but lower min damage), but they're the last two endgame weapons from the post-game content so you're probably already done with the game once you get them. Range is a neat idea but sucks because of the lack of polish. The single most detrimental thing to melee combat is that there is no difference between missing a swing when you're in range and missing a swing because you're out of range, nor any indication of whether you are in range, and that's not something you could guess without landing attacks as the animations visibly don't match the collision detection, so melee combat invariably devolves into walking into the opponent's face because that's the only way to be sure you can hit him. Magic and ranged are way better as you can clearly tell when you missed and when the enemy dodged/tanked the attack.
Directions are a mixed bag because there's good directions, bad directions, and straight up wrong directions. I like having to follow landmarks and figure out locations by myself, but it sucks that you can rarely ask people living close to your objective for directions unless asking them is part of the quest. There's a quest where you have to take a nord to a witch and he only says she's "northwest", but she's actually north-northwest. You can easily pass her but he'll just incorrectly state that "she's northwest" without giving you anything but those relative directions based on where you first met him. One quest asked me to go to Nchuleft, west of Vos, so I went west and kept going past the ashlands. I even tried going back and searching slightly north but I couldn't find it. Turns out it was west-southwest right before the ashlands, but the only information anyone would ever tell you is "it's west of Vos". It's not like the game only works in 4 cardinal directions, there are cases where you get directions based on landmarks and more precise cardinal directions. It would be way better if NPCs gave you relative directions, specially the ones close to your objectives and the ones you have to escort, and that could even done with a relatively quick script.
The main quest is generally good when it comes to directions and I really liked the main quest itself, I even went the intended path despite it being one of the most open questlines in the game. My only complaint is that Dagoth Ur was weak shit, which is made even worse when the world ending threat is weaker than any expansion boss, including the weakened form of the god that failed to kill him and a generic unarmored businessman.
Tribunal was the first "expansion" and they let some low tier devs play a bigger part in it, which is why it really sucks. The castle feels really small despite being the largest city in the game, it's full of small corridors meaning NPCs often block the path and TCL is the only option.
The story is really shit. You go there because the new king tried to kill you and there are rumors that he assassinated the last king, during some sidequests you learn that he's still trying to kill you just for shits and giggles, then you kill the goblin horde he's training in the sewers and that's it for the king. Even if you talk with him after ruining his goblin horde he just says "k cool, now go to the temple to advance the story". So you go to the temple to advance the story, do quests for the tribunal girl for the player to understand that she's bad, see the two shitty new enemies(robot dinossaur 1, and robot dinossaur 2, and no, not even dwemer robot, just generic "I just played deus ex" robot), then comes the worst quest in the game.
This is the DLC weapon quest. You have to talk to people but you can't talk to anyone but the quest NPCs. Randoms won't point you in the right direction, they won't even tell you they don't know as only 4 NPCs have the topic, the one that gave you the quest, the 2 you have to talk with, and 1 that you probably won't even try talking to. After you collect the fragments the smith you gave them to tells you he won't be able to enchant it without the books, which you can probably find at the dwemer ruins forge, or without a dwarf, but there are no dwarves left. Luckily I had picked up all the books as they were all unique and seemed useful, but if I asked him about the enchanting again he would just tell me to get books. I figured it was a bug, as Tribunal was the only part of the game where I had crashes and quest breaking glitches, but no, turns out you have to go to the forge, ignore the books, and talk to the dwarf ghost NPC that just spawns after the smith tells you to get the books for some arbitrary reason. Even if you know the last dwarf in Vvardenfell no one cares because this is a self contained story and alternate paths don't exist.
Finally you go through the last dungeon that looks cool and has fun traps, but only has the two shitty robot dinossaur enemies, except but and then there's the big twist that the tribunal girl is bad! And just to make sure you understand you're locked in place (which the weakened tribunal gods can do now for some reason) while she monologues (wow voice acting!) about how she's bad and tells you her evil plan. As her monologue is completely voice acted you can't ask her anything, she just reads the script and then attacks you. The boss fight is just a fast NPC with lots of health and a magic attack that spans half of the enclosed map you're fighting in, and then you're done after you kill her. She has a lot of resistance and reflect against magic(like most things in Tribunal) meaning you'll just be relying on melee unless you also have big resistance values.
You can kill the king that tried to kill you which I did but that's completely inconsequential and no one cares. Afterwards you can tell NPCs that you killed the tribunal goddesss, but even the daedra worshippers that hated the tribunal will be upset, say you're lying about killing the goddess, and tell you to pray at the temple for such blasphemy.
Feels like they had something going with the king trying to kill you and then they changed it at the last second because people complained about Morrowind's ending. The sewer goblins and sewer litches were cool, but everything about Almalexia was shit. Dagoth Ur was a better ending for the game, even if the fight was easy.
Bloodmoon is the second expansion for the game and it's where they learned to not suck dick anymore which is a shame as I played it first. It's fun going from Morrowind to a generic snowy forest with normal animals and having the latter feel alien by comparison. The main quest is pretty fun, though I wish you could fight Hircine at full power. Bloodmoon also comes with werewolves, which I guess was a response to "people" complaining about vampires. Vampires give you a lot of power but everyone except the telvanni hates vampires and they won't even talk to you, though you can still complete the main questline in a somewhat hidden way. Werewolves are more restrictive during transformation but easier to work with as people won't know you're a werewolf unless you're caught transforming. Being a werewolf in itself is really fun as you become an extremely mobile death machine with regenerating health until the sun comes out. Late game it might become weak as the stats are fixed, but I beat Tribunal at level 23 and it was still useful then.
All in all it's a fun game. It'd be interesting to see the alternative reality where Bethesda decided to make a second Morrowind and improve upon its flaws, but as is it's another game into the janky one-of-a-kind pile.