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horus
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06 Aug 2014

Location: Murica

So here are just some general thoughts to get us thinking about what to include in the Master Plan! A lot of these ideas have been talked about in the threads What is Morrowind?: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=24981 and Player Freedom: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=25024, which if you haven't checked out, you should. Lots of good ideas there. This, however, is just my take on some of the themes, etc. of Morrowind and the way they're implemented in-game. Please, feel free to add your own ideas/thoughts!

To me, Morrowind is a game about change. From a gameplay perspective, this is done through the choices that the player makes. I think that this is a critical distinction to make. As long as the player does nothing to create change, the game will act in accordance. You can sleep for days on end in the same spot and nothing will change. Sure, a DB assassin will show up and try and kill you, or maybe, if you're far enough along in the main quest, a Dagoth Ur nasty will show up and try to ruin your day. But that's about it. There are only a few quests where "time is of the essence."

As such, you can ignore most story-progressive aspects of the game if you so choose. "Why walk when you can ride?" Because I want to walk, swim, and jump from Seyda Neen to Dagon Fel. The game never directly tells you that you should complete the main quest. Like ever. In my first however many playthroughs, I sold the package to Caius Cosades to someone else. And I doubt I'm the only one who's done that. The game allows you to practically throw away critical items to finish the main quest. At no point in time are you obligated to start it, much less finish it. And that's a really cool idea.

Another idea is that of permanence. Not permanence within the game world itself, but permanence of your choices (not assuming you save and reload, etc). If you kill a named character, they stay dead. Didn't dispose of their body? Yup, it's still there, too. And those kwamma eggs you dropped on their floor because you were suddenly over-encumbered stay there the entire game. That idea of affecting permanent change in the game world through your choices is always present.

Now to branch off a little bit from technical game play aspects of the game! I'd like to discuss aspects of the main quest's storyline. The main quest, to me at least, is the story of the decline of Morrowind and the Tribunal. Ok, perhaps not the decline of Morrowind itself as a nation, because that didn't really seem to happen. Instead, the decline is that of a cultural shift away from the Tribunal. This is obviously a huge change for the NPCs in game, and ought to be a big deal to the player as well. This happens because at the start of the game, Morrowind is precariously balanced on the edge of decline. I believe that the MQ, and the other faction questlines as well, tell the story of powerful players in Morrowind getting pushed past that edge and falling into ruin. In the MQ, it's the Tribunal. With most of the other questlines, its typically opposing factions. This fall into ruin alters the dynamics of Morrowind, but it doesn't destroy it; it simply alters beyond previous recognition.

Anyhow, these are my thoughts on some things that the Master Plan will go over. I figured I might as well get the ball rolling with discussion about it. Lets get some good discussions going!
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