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Morrowind Editor Ideas

19 February 2011

Here are just a few ideas of plug-ins that could (or should) be created when the game is released. Feel free to Contact Me me if you have any other good ideas for a plug-in.

  1. Grapple Hook/Rope: Grapple hook or improvement to the game's existing rope. We are still not entirely sure what the game's default implementation of rope or grapples will be, if any, but it would certainly be fun to play a thief type character with them. Several different types of grapple hooks could be offered with various ranges, speeds, strengths, and rewind rates for a variety of uses.
  2. True Dwarves: I for one would like to see the addition of true dwarves to the game (both as a NPC and a playable race). By true dwarves I mean those short, stocky people who like to quaff large amounts of ale and hack at peoples knees with axes, hammers, or other people. To differentiate from the Dwemer, who are also known commonly as dwarves, we could name them possibly 'True Dwarves', 'Stone Dwarves', 'Mountain Dwarves', 'Mountain Men', etc... I like the idea of having them originate from the original Dwemer (who were actually quite elvish in appearance) but were trapped underground when Vvardenfell erupted around 1E 668. In the over 3000 years since then they have evolved more into the typical RPG dwarf by the small spaces, mining, etc... They would have large cities far underground which have gone unnoticed by the surface population. Well, there's a whole lot which could be done along this vein. The language barrier should be a problem so you have to find/make/buy a magical item which allows you to talk and listen to the Mountain Dwarves.
  3. Spy Quest: A quest where you are given the job of inflitrating a powerful persons home in order to spy on them and report what they are up to. For instance, perhaps a mage guild quest to spy on a mage who has been reported to have been performing 'questionable' rituals. You might be able to sneak and catch a quick peek, thief like, or attempt to become hired temporarily as one of his servants. The person and his companions would be far too powerful for you to take on alone so you must be careful not to get caught. The quest could progress somewhat as you found more information. For example, first you might find out he has a secret passage to a laboratory in his house/keep. You could continue to find out more info, a piece at a time, reporting back to the guild. The guild might have you take on a more active role such as stealing items or otherwise disrupt his progress until more help can arrive. Perhaps you could even find out that it's the quest giver who is up to no good by having you spy and disrupt the mage! Perhaps you have the option of becoming a double agent and telling the person who you are supposed to spy on what's going on.
  4. Smugglers Quest: A quest where you have been asked by a local merchant to deliver a few crates of goods to another town (perhaps far away). Upon inspection the crates seem to just contain stone carvings of various designs. What you don't know is that the carvings are hollow and filled with some illegal substance (perhaps cane sugar) which the shopkeeper is having you smuggle to his associates. During the course of travelling you may be interrupted by guards and caught in the act (random perhaps, allowing you do the job a few times before you are arrested). By proclaiming your innocence and swearing to help track the shopkeeper and his associates you are let go, at least temporarily. Now it becomes a matter of attempting to track the shopkeeper and friends. Once you find them, do you turn them in, or demand to get in on the action and help them smuggle more goods?
  5. Small/Large Battles: A would really like to see something where the PC is involved in a larger group of people. This could be something small like being one of 4 guards to guard something overnite or during a trip all the way up to something large like being involved in a large assault on an orcish dungeon. The smaller type quests could probably be done easily by merely adding some friendly NPCs with perhaps some specific scripting/dialogue. The larger quests involve more a limit of the game engine and the user's computer than anything else. Assumably if you had 100 (or more) orcs/soldiers on the screen at any time the frame rate would slow to a veritable crawl. One possible way around this is to create some low polygonal models of soldiers and orcs. For instance, a typical character model is said to be around the 5000 faces range. If you could make a passable model with, say, 500 faces instead, you would basically be allowing 10x the number of NPCs at the same frame rate (though this is just a guess at this point). If the editor allows it you could have various levels of detail, i.e., nearby creatures would use a high-res model while farther away creatures would use a low-res model, or even limit the drawing of farther away creatures all together. Something like this will have to be tested once the game released, but the possibilities are quite alluring.
  6. Strategy Elements: Several people have mentioned the desire to insert more strategy type elements into the game. Things like being able to run a province/area the way one might do in a Civilization type game (although not nessecarily as detailed of course). You could start off by aquiring the lordship (or whatever the Dunmer call it) of a small, unimportant village. There would be various ways of doing this such as assassinating the current leader and taking his place, assault the town and claim leadership, bribe or blackmail the current leader/government to leave or allow you to come in, perform good campaigning around the town and have the people 'vote' you in...and many others if you cared to take the time to think about it (the more the merrier as ultimately you could be taking over all the towns in Morrowind, about 30, always good to have lots of variety). Once in the governor position for the town you would have to perform certain duties such as set and enforce a tax rate (collector duty?), ensure the town is properly guarded, ensure the town has enough food and required supplies, ensure trade routes are maintained and opened between neighbouring towns, maintaining and improving the condition of the town (roads, houses, planting flowers, etc...), etc..., etc.... Perhaps the larger the town the more things you need to take care of and the more often you need to. If you failed on your duties the town people would become upset and eventually run you out of town and possibly even hire bounty on your head (if you were really bad). I suppose that alternatively, instead of being the benevolent governor you could be tyranical and use the people's utter fear of you to stay in power as well (or perhaps a little of both). As you acquire more and more territority the benefits increase (such as gold and other tributes, fame, reputation, bigger castle, etc...). Exactly how detailed you can make it will probably depend mostly on exactly what the editor will allow you to do. Just imagine being 'inside' a game of Civilization for the possibilities of the experience.
  7. Thief Quests: I'm sure the game will come with much better thief quests than those in Daggerfall, hopefully at least something comparable to the game play the Thief and Thief II (though we are told the engine is not as specifically designed for stealth as the Thief game engine). I thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay in the Thief games and hope someone is able to recreate those type of quests in Morrowind. One of the many good points of the Thief levels is that usually there were a variety of methods of completing the objectives. Do you knock out or kill guards or avoid them altogether? Which route to take, up high with a few rope arrows (a definite must), or sneak along the shadows at ground level to find an open window? Do you check out other areas for extra loot or do you go quickly in and out for the primary objectives? All of these allows one to replay the same map/quest several times without it becoming repetitive.
  8. General Content: There's tons that could be added just a general content, everything from simple items all the way up to complete cities or even other continents (people have talked about recreating the other provinces in addition to the island of Vvardenfell, which is certainly possible). A good large-scale type project would be to create a complete town with unique NPCs, items, quests, dialogues, etc... If several people add their own town the original 30 towns in the game could increase dramatically, greatly increasing the replayability of the game (by the time you've fully explored the 30 someone's bound to have made a few more for you). Dungeons could similarily to added to increase the size and experience of the game world. For the capable 3D artists, there are of course appropriately tons of custom models on can add to the game (weapons, armour, furniture, misc items, etc...) as well as the more difficult character models (more player races, NPCs, monsters, etc...).
  9. Books: One of the thing the editor allows you is to create your own books to added to the game. Books can include pictures and assumably a limited amount of formatting to allow some interesting possibilities. Some have mentioned the addition of the books found in Daggerfall to Morrowind which is a good idea. Books can be added full of hints and tips or merely information about the game. Instead of visiting a web site to grab information you could download a library of in-game books which you could buy and carry around with you for easy access. Imagine adventuring somewhere and spotting a creature you've never seen before. You crack open your 'Nivec's Bestiary Guide to Morrowind' to find out what it is, how dangerous, and how it can best be defeated (etc...). This allows you to stay in character more easily than ALT-TABing and starting your browser for the same information and could be a neat aspect of the game. Similarily, alot of the Elder Scrolls fiction work out there could be added as books to game (complete with pictures of course).
  10. General Quests: With the editor easy to use, there's no reason for lots of people to make many quests with a great range of variety. One of the downfalls of Daggerfall was that the random quests would become repetitive after a time, you would see and perform basically the same quest over and over. The more quests that are available, the longer it will take for one to begin to see the quests repeat. Hopefully people can make enough good quality quests that one would never notice them to repeat. Some general quest ideas are:
    1. Guard the house/item from thieves. The thieves must be killed or captured and if a minimum value of items were stolen, the quest is a failure (perhaps have to pay a certain percentage of their failure if you fail miserably or don't show at all). Reward could be a percentage of the value guarded depending on the trouble encountered and success.
    2. Guard the person(s) from assassins. Failure would be if the person was killed or perhaps badly wounded. True failure may result in the person or their family sending an assassin after you for revenge. Success could be gold and reputation in proporation to how important the person was and how difficult the task.
    3. Escort a person or shipment from Point A to B (either in town or between towns), a minimum number of people or items must survive to the destination in order to succeed. You could be hired as merely one of many guards for an important shipment, perhaps the sole guard, or hired as the chief security and have to arrange and hire additional guards and equipment as nessecary. The reward would be reputation, gold, and perhaps equipment related to the difficulty of the guarding and how much resistance was met. Failure could mean lower reputation and possibly having to pay for lost equipment and funeral arrangements. The length of the route could vary to very short such as guarding a money shipment between banks in town or longer between nearby villages.
    4. Find some sort of information (research, reading books, finding books, asking experts and people in town, etc...). You might be hired by a local mage to find some information on a herb from a town far away because he has no time/desire to travel. Or perhaps by somone who is looking for a lost relative in an area.
    5. Explore/map out a particular region, such as an unexplored mine or cavern or an uninhabited island just off the coast (if such a type of quest is even possible).
    6. Follow someone to track their movements and report on them. Find out where they are going, who they meet with etc... Failure could come if the person spots you following them (could be somehow partially based on stealth).
    7. Solve the crime (murder, thievery, fraud, kidnapping, disturbances, assault, etc...). A crime has occurred and the local guards ask you to help solve it due to your reputation (or just because they don't want to be bothered to do it themselves). Examine the crime scene, interview witnesses and suspects, research clues and track the criminals, etc... Success comes if you successfully capture or kill the true guilty parties. Failure might be if you took too long or implicated/killed an innocent person.
    8. Be hired as a goon/enforcer, collecting money, enacting revenge, being a hit man, etc... For the good aligned player the evil parties could be killed or turned in.

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