This summary -- of the Skype Meeting that took place on Saturday, July 18, 2015 -- is somewhat haphazard, as I wanted to toss it out before the next meeting, which will be on Saturday, August 1, 2015. The topic of the meeting was characterizing Morrowind, but naturally a subject so broad and important can't be tackled in a single Skype meeting, so the intention was simply to make a start on which we could expand in future meetings.
Which is an important point: nothing below is final; the intention is for people to discuss the ideas and provide critique or counter suggestions.
In the next meeting, I'll be experimenting with recording the audio of the meeting. One of the benefits would be that I could toss up the recording and maybe chat log in this thread right after the meeting to tide people with enough time to peruse them over until a proper summary is posted. (There should still be proper summaries either way). The other is that nobody would have to take notes during the meeting, and the summary could instead be written from the recording. I certainly expect that approach will work better for me, as I have trouble keeping proper notes during the meetings, which is why I end up taking so long on summaries.
"It’s about the challenges the nations of Morrowind face during this tumultuous time period, and how the Dunmer must find a way to adapt to the changing fabric of their society. Everything they’ve known and grown accustomed to is crashing down around them. All the events that happen in the game portray this in different ways. The Sixth House conflict is only one of them. And that’s what makes this game so compelling: the fact that after so many years, there are so many stories yet to be told. It’s a tale that’s so layered, you couldn’t possibly experience it all in a lifetime. You are simply a lens that witnesses this epic tale, influenced by your own choices and perspectives."
Morrowind is not a unified nation; conditions vary from House territory to House territory.
It does however have a unified border and a common religion; it is a state rather than simply a region.
The Temple and Empire are trying to act as glue to hold Morrowind together, but even in the Temple's best days it only managed to a certain extent.
One question that came up that I'd forgotten to note down is what differentiates an average Dunmer of Morrowind from the average Imperial citizen; or that was the gist of the question anyway. I don't think we came up with a clear answer for that one, aside from Seneca's comment that "life is tough for the velothi - not alot of time to sit around."
There was some question of player activity, especially in tamer regions. Basically, Indoril lands and the Deshaan are where the Dunmer really prosper, so it wouldn't make sense for the land to be too hazardous in general. It can, however, be made hazardous to outlanders in particular. One idea was to have thugs in Dres and maybe Indoril cities who attack the player on sight, similarly to how Ashlander outlaws are handled.
In the harsher areas of Morrowind, while the Dunmer would hardly be friendly to the player, the population would tend to be more focused on just getting by, and would generally just let outlanders be. In the extremest cases, the Dunmer populace might even work together with outlanders. Where the Dunmer prosper, however, they have more time to be idle and get bored, and in short more freedom and inclination to act on their xenophobia. Not to mention the fact that Imperial law enforcement would generally have trouble protecting citizens deep in Indoril and Dres territory, whereas local law enforcement would generally lack the inclination to do so.