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Morrowind Review in Progress

William Murphy Posted:
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Morrowind is back, people. And while fans of the now aging third entry into the Elder Scrolls main series may find ESO’s version of Vvardenfell quite different, that’s kind of the point. Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is 15th anniversary celebration of the original game. It’s homage to the title that helped make The Elder Scrolls a gaming icon. It’s also a self-contained story or “chapter” added to ESO. And so far, it’s been a very good time indeed.

The big major additions, for those who’ve been avoiding the news, is one massive new zone of Vvardenfell with roughly 30+ hours of story questing, all new PVP 4v4v4 Battlegrounds, and the new Warden class. On top of this, tons of new item sets, motifs, crafting stuff, houses, and so forth are all added into Morrowind. ZOS has been avoiding the “Expansion” name because it’s not quite as big as what we’d call a traditional expansion, but it’s definitely not a normal DLC either. Enter the term… Chapters. This is the first of yearly planned additions to the ESO saga, and if you’ve never played ESO, getting in with Morrowind also gets you access to the original base game.

That’s a lot of bears…

Being be, I of course went with the Warden right off the bat. New class, new powers, a new bear pet… I couldn’t not play with the new class. If they keep adding a new class every year, I’ll never get to the Champion Point cap (which has also been raised to 630, by the way). The Warden is a lot of fun to play, if only because he’s so versatile. Animal Companions acts a bit like a standard class DPS line, summoning in things like cliffracers and scarabs for one off attacks. It also has a healing line and a frost-based tanking line. Each one is potent, and while I chose to primarily go with Animal Companions for the bear pet, I’ve dabbled into healing and frost as well. You can see a quick click of the action at the link below.

FORGE.GG Warden Combat Clip: https://forge.gg/TheBillMurphy/VmlkZW86OTExNzc0

What’s perhaps most impressive about Morrowind is, well, Morrowind. It’s damned near mystifying just how good it looks in ESO and yet how much it remains like the original game’s map. It’s been ages since I traipsed about Morrowind, but it felt like coming home. Like many, TES3 was my gateway to the series, and to see it revived in ESO, one of the best MMORPGs available, it pretty danged auspicious.

The story’s a keeper too, so far. You’re basically here to help Vivec find out what’s going on in Morrowind with the other living gods and the people of Vvardenfell – in the hopes that you’ll help solve the mystery of why his power is waning. And if Vivec’s power fails? The giant asteroid hovering above Morrowind will come crashing down and destroy everyone. So it’d probably be a good idea to help the dual-colored warrior-poet.

House Hlaalu are snobby dudes… but they get the job done.

What I haven’t tried yet are the changes to my Sorcerer or Dragon Knight (we’ve heard plenty of worry that the patch screws other classes, especially at the elder game). But more importantly, as balance patches are often always works in progress, I haven’t tried the Battlegrounds yet. I hit level 9 this morning before having to stop to write this piece, and I plan on hopping right back into ESO as soon as I can to hit level 10 and start testing out the new competitive PVP.

This is early access for Morrowind, and only the PC folks are getting such a start ahead of official launch day on June 6th. That said, launch is now officially worldwide and simultaneous for all platforms on the 6th, so the wait is close to over for those of you who prefer the PS4 or Xbox One. Me? I’ll be over here for the next two weeks enjoying the heck out of my Warden on the best version of ESO (/taunt). 


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.