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More-o-Wind

A mention of this Morrowind mod in another thread reminded me about Tamriel Rebuilt. It’s a bold, some would say crazy (others would say impossible) project to extend the noble forerunner to Oblivion into something even bigger than its current mighty girth.

Mad Bethesda-bitching is traditionally reserved for how they did unspeakable things to Fallout and how Oblivion was mindless prolefeed or similar such snobbery, so someone feeling that The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind perhaps cut a corner or two makes a refreshing change.

Well, it’s not really bitching, to be fair. It’s just wanting to embiggen the game. The specific feeling is that Morrowind only included a fraction of Tamriel, the Elder Scrolls world, so this ongoing (since, in fact, pretty much Morrowind’s release) huge-scale project is an attempt to restore the missing lands, based on a merry blend of obscenely detailed lore research and enthusiastic imagination. It’s being tackled chunk-by-chunk, and the team have just finished the second part, Antediluvian Secrets. It’s huge, and four more instalments are yet to come.

This is an early release of it, lacking quests but hopefully an explorer’s paradise – full of custom-designed new areas and beasties, towns and ruins and even a lost, devastated city to poke around in. It’s very much cementing Morrowind’s reputation as the Bethesda game that’s best-suited to – to namecheck today’s buzzword again – exploration, as opposed to the heavy focus on killing, killing and more killing with ultra-blood that they opted for with Oblivion and Fallout 3.

This second part also requires Map 1: Telvannis, which though older is probably more worth looking at.I’s much more complete – there’s much more in the way of dialogue and quests in it. Oh, Tamriel Rebuilt also needs both Morrowind expansions, Tribunal and Blood Moon, as well as the game itself.

Which is why I’m not writing about my own experiences of it, but rather jaffing off about how it might be good – I don’t have a copy of Blood Moon annoyingly. I’m attempting to track one down, because I’m very much in the mood to both try this and revisit Morrowind generally. For all I know, Tamriel Rebuilt is awful and flaky, so apologies if so – I’ll update with proper comment once I’ve snagged Bloodmoon from somewhere. I know it’s caught some flak for having taken so damned long, but it’s still an interesting project. I’ve always thought Morrowind was the better game than Oblivion, even if it was rougher around the edges. Its world seemed a bit wilder and more imaginative – especially those giant waterflea taxi thingies.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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