The Elder Scrolls Online got DLC supplies. On the 6th of June, the highly anticipated Morrowind expansion for the MMO from ZeniMax appeared. Finally, we can travel again to Vvardenfell, into the world of the 2002 role playing game classic Morrowind. We have tested the first major add-on package for TESO.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind appeared 15 years ago and is a real genre milestone. A hackneyed battle system and no quest aids – that was Morrowind, too. In the first place, Morrowind was a damn atmospheric title. In addition, Morrowind was the part of the Elder Scrolls series, in which today’s style so slowly consolidated. A great world, an epic story and complete freedom in character creation. With such a brilliant game, in which I have spent hundreds of hours, it did not bother me either, that I had to constantly look at the virtual ground to get an acceptable frame rate.
I was thrilled when Bethesda and ZeniMax announced Morrowind as the first real add-on for The Elder Scrolls Online in January of this year. There is probably no other part of the series that fans would prefer to see in the TESO universe. For example, ZeniMax has been working on the implementation of the engine of Oblivion and Skyrim for many years. ZeniMax has recognized this and the Vvardenfell volcanic island is smoothly reproduced in the game.
Already prior to the release of TESO: Morrowind, ZeniMax introduced the “One Tamriel” feature. Each area and combat is now tailored to the level of the player. The consequence: we can always explore all areas and join each player, whatever level. What makes World of Warcraft only Legion, allows ZeniMax in the entire game world of The Elder Scrolls Online. This great feature also allows us to go directly into the new addon – along with its own tutorial.
Fans of the original will be reminiscing directly at the beginning of the game. The addon starts at the same place, where we could not look at the then ground-breaking water in 2002: in the city of Seyda Neen. From there, we can explore the completely reconstructed island, dungeons and quests, follow our craft, or simply explore the landscape. It varies from marshes, over barren rock landscapes to the fire-spitting volcano – the volcano in the middle of the island. Of course, again the town of Vivec is accessible, in which the god of the same name, as part of the tribunal, needs our help.
The story is told by means of sound (and synchronized!) Dialogues during the quests. In the process, the quests do not reach the epic proportions of other genre representatives, but the extensive setting reaches exactly what The Elder Scrolls Online wants to achieve: Immersion.
In fact, the online implementation of the popular TES series by the developer in recent interviews is no longer referred to as MMO, but also as a rolling game. This single-player character, including a typical-ego view, mixes ZeniMax with extensive online features such as housing, guilding systems or crisp raids. Of course, in Morrowind, the entire island may be scourged and played at the entrance – human players are not required for regular quests and are completely optional.
Morrowind lets us open up the way we play the fighting. Already in the main game we had the full freedom in character development. Each class – whether an elegant Nightblade or a hard-hitting Dragonknight – has different skill sets, which can be combined as desired. So a Templar can become a healer or a tank – just as we wish. The same applies to the new Warden class, which can be directed in various directions thanks to frost magic, companion system (analogous to the Beast Master Hunter in World of Warcraft) and salvation claims. This freedom in the character development can be a curse or blessing – but it remains a unique feature. We like this: a fresh alternative to rigid class structures of other MMORPGs. With the new class, TESO: Morrowind now also counteracts class poverty, which we had still criticized in the original test.
Finally, The Elder Scrolls Online, but also in the new addon Morrowind as a hybrid between singleplayer and multiplayer experience – each individually, TESO does not work. For a single-player experience, the mechanics are too bulky, the visual presentation is not convincing enough. For a pure multiplayer experience, on the other hand, TESO: Morrwind is a fine of a World of Warcraft. A community, guilding and raid structure like that of the genre primes has not developed at TESO – and it does not look like this either. For this, TESO is an interesting mix of both worlds, which is convincing in total – mainly through the TES license. As was already the case in the main game of TESO, it was also used in Morrowind thanks to the original score and the complete implementation of the island. If one knows Morrowind in the original – and loves it like me – then you immediately feel like at home.
But the active combat system is particularly fun. While in many MMORPGs we are rigidly on the spot, a rotation down, and sometimes move us from “area of effect” damage, TESO calls for much more movement. We can block attacks, free us from Stuns, escape damage with sideways rolls, and attack the enemy from behind. This exciting combat system is what makes the gameplay stand out from other genre vampires. We like it great!
A weak technique, an unusual combat system and unpolished mechanics. Who plays The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind for the first time, could quickly forget the newest addition and main game. He also misses the unique pages of ZeniMax’s new MMORPG: charmingly-tuned quests, a beautiful world, a breathtakingly fresh combat system, and a “One Tamriel”, an exploration system that is unrivaled.
Morrowind does not make much difference to TESO. We will be rewarded with Vvardenfell as a new island and the guardian as a new class, but little has been done on the scaffolding. These are two sides of a coin: this means that the weaknesses – such as a meager crafting system or weak graphics – have done little, the active combat system continues to make fun and the sound quests continue to inspire. If you want the main game and a fresh alternative to WoW or Guild Wars 2, you can travel to Vvardenfell.
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