Monday, 28 April 2014

I've finished Morrowind!

About an hour ago I finished my playthrough of Morrowind. I finished the base game about two weeks ago and since then I've first finished Tribunal DLC and most recently Bloodmoon DLC. Before doing this blog post I read through my original ranting post about Morrowind and I realise how much things have changed since November. For me, coming from the newer TES games, Morrowind had a really steep learning curve. Starting the game I didn't understand the leveling or the skills, I didn't understand the factions or all the means of getting around the island quickly. I was completely lost and I hated it so I hated the game. Things have changed now. I really enjoyed Morrowind. There are some things I don't like, but most things I've loved, and now I do understand why most Elder Scrolls fans praise Morrowind as the best one. I'll always have a first time love for Skyrim, but Morrowind was amazing, and to me that puts them both at the top, sharing the number 1 spotlight. Oblivion had a lot of humour, but it doesn't come close to the epicness of Morrowind and Skyrim.

Game mechanics: The leveling had me dumbfounded for a long while. You really need to make a choice and focus on one type. I focused on Light Armor, Short Blade, Block, Athletics, Sneak and Security of my skills. Since I played a rogue type character. Since I didn't do a magical character I didn't focus much on Willpower or Personality or any of the magical skills.
There are means of fast travelling around the island. The items with Almsivi Intervention (direct to closest Temple) and Divine Intervention (direct to closest Fort) became my best friends, and I was addicted to both silt striders and boats. I also fell in love with Levitation and when I had to walk for long distances I always chose to walk over everything instead of having to find a winding way down there somewhere.
Having no quest markers was confusing at first, but thanks to UESP and my paper map I learned to find my way very quickly. The in-game map is still useless unless you're going somewhere you've already been a few times and just need a hint for which way to go.
Interestingly you get used to not being able to block. It's a bit risky on low levels, but once you go up a few levels it's not really bothersome anymore.
There's some autosave actually, but not nearly as much as Oblivion and Skyrim, so saving often is something I had to learn to remember.
I really like the old school interface and having everything on the screen all at once: character, map, effects, skills, inventory... It's really practical. Why did they stop making it like that?

Gameplay: The main quest started out really slow. Something like no one really knows who you are and you were a prisoner in the Imperial City but the Emperor decided to send you to Morrowind for no reason whatsoever and now you're with the Blades and there's some stuff going on that you need to investigate. Now there are strange things happening, and wow this really is all about you. The quest givers start to realise that the prophecy actually concerns you about halfway through the main quest line. The Path of the Incarnate is the quest when things actually start to heat up.
Morrowind is a lot about choice and consequences. A majority of the quests can end in several different ways (including the main quest), and there are no unkillable essential NPCs (well, some NPCs are essential to the main quest but you can still kill them and destroy the quest line). You can only join one Great House and some factions actively fight against each other or openly dislikes each other. So you actually need to think about what you're doing, why and to what purpose. This is why I chose to do the Morag Tong quest line as the last thing I did on Vvardenfell, before going to Tribunal.
The game is all about exploring, but it's marred by the frequent attacks by different creatures. Especially cliff racers who don't attack you immediately, but rather duplicates before actually attacking. Turns around, there's one, continues walking, turns around, now they're two, continues walking, now they're four, continues walking, they're attacking and now they're five -.-' Even after you've leveled your Speed to max the walking pace is still very slow and running is about the same pace as walking in Skyrim...
Morrowind has a lot of personality and all races are very distinguished. You can cross-dress and both males and females will compliment you on your looks. Also, Morrowind has recognition for what you have accomplished, which is a nice change from Skyrim where no one seems to know I'm Dragonborn even after I've killed Alduin -.-' The architecture is also very distinguished and you can easily tell if you're in a Redoran controlled city, a Hlaalu controlled city or a Telvanni controlled city. Vivec City is still the most retarded case of architecture ever perpetrated in a game. But I don't think the landscape is as amazing as everyone says, it still looks pretty ordinary. The only areas I'd say are special are Sheogorad to the north and Zafirbel Bay to the east. Otherwise it's mostly just ash and swamps.
I must also say that I loved the cut scenes that gave the whole game an entirely new level of epicness. The soundtrack was also amazing. And Azura is my new BFF.

DLCs: Mournhold as a city failed to impress me and the whole fight against monsters in the plaza was so similar to the final fight in Oblivion. However I loved meeting with Almalexia and Sotha Sil, and I adored Sotha Sil's very steampunk Clockwork City.
Bloodmoon was a huge nostalgia trip for me, since I played Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC first and both Dragonborn and Bloodmoon take place on the island of Solstheim. I loved being the one laying the groundwork for Raven Rock and its ebony mine. The mystery novel-ish main quest line of Bloodmoon was also intriguing and I really enjoyed meeting Hircine. The cut scene in the end there was also very special.

How things have changed:
 M'aiq the Liar in Morrowind and in Skyrim
 Draugr Lord in Morrowind and in Skyrim
Udefrykte in Morrowind and in Skyrim
 Gyldenhul Barrow in Morrowind and in Skyrim
 1). Talk about skeleton in the closet! xD 2). Many Nords in Morrowind base game are nude due to being tricked by witches. This one is nude cause it's too hot in Mournhold and he loves to say it. 3). All he wants is a pair of boots. It's cold in Solstheim.

Things to note: In Morrowind base game you get to meet the last living Dwemer, which I can't help but being ridiculously happy about. There's also this guy in Bloodmoon DLC who wants you to help him find proof of the Falmer civilisation and how it ended, which also makes me smile. In the mine in Bloodmoon DLC you get to meet Gratian Caerellius, the great-grandfather of Crescius Caerellius who we meet in Dragonborn DLC. In Tribunal DLC you get to meet Queen Barenziah whose crown is a real pain in the ass in Skyrim base game.
The Last Living Dwemer
There are also some features in Morrowind that are not in Oblivion or Skyrim. For example the strip club in Suran and the different slave markets throughout Vvardenfell.

All in all, Morrowind is an incredibly detailed game with enormous amounts of content to offer. Although the graphics aren't the greatest the game is still great enough that the, nowadays, impaired graphics is nothing but an easily overlooked and ignored annoyance. I don't regret having played it one bit.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Bye bye, Second Doctor

I'm just done with the Second Doctor. I really enjoyed the First Doctor, but dammit the Second is better! He's funny and clumsy and a scatterbrain. He's playful and adventurous and optimistic. He's sort of clownish, and he's sometimes a child and sometimes an adult, depending on the situation. He's not as proper as First and a bit more modern. And he actually had me laughing out loud on several occasions. Catchphrase: "Oh, my word!" and "Oh, my giddy Aunt!" :P If First was an awesome grandpa character, then Second is a fantastic big brother sort of character. I'd like a brother like that.

Although I was sad to see First go, it was worse with Second and I actually postponed watching the last four stories for about two weeks, because I didn't want Second's run to end. Luckily I still have three more appearances of Second to look forward to: The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors and The Two Doctors.

The companions:
Ben & Polly. In the end I never did like Ben. But that may just be because he never got a moment to really shine. I did, however, enjoy Polly's presence. Especially during The Underwater Menace and The Moonbase. Both of them got a chance to shine during The Faceless Ones. I was a little sad to see them both leave on the same day they joined :P
Jamie. The one companion that belongs with Second. Jamie was introduced in the second ever story featuring the Second Doctor and he stayed with him throughout the rest of his run. I really like Jamie. Although he's from the 18th century and hadn't even learned to read and write he tries his best to understand what's going on. He's a quick learner and has no trouble learning all the new things. He also learns how to read. I love how he's always in a kilt :3
Victoria. My favourite female companion of the Second Doctor. Although she was from the 19th century and acted (what I think) was very typical for 19th century girls, she was brave and smart, but cautious. She left when she found a new family to take care of her. Her original encounter with the Doctor was when her father was killed by Daleks during The Evil of the Daleks. Her best story was The Tomb of the Cybermen.
Zoe. Sometimes I really like Zoe and sometimes I can't stand her. She's a genius and bases all her actions on logic. She also bases all her solutions on logic, but always forgets that people and anything with emotions don't always behave logically. Her dress sense is about as weird as the Doctor's and I always enjoy seeing her new outfits. Her best story was The Seeds of Death.

Favourite creatures:
Cybermen, Great Intelligence/Yetis, Quarks

Favourite stories: 

Least favourite stories:

Introducing: The Sonic Screwdriver! :D

Remember when the Doctor wrote a fanfiction about himself? :)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Happy (belated) Easter!

I planned on doing the Easter post last night after I got home, but I was too tired after 4 hours on a train that I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Last Friday I got on the train south to visit my parents, celebrate my mother's birthday and celebrate Easter. I got there too late for dinner, but my dad re-heated some leftovers from their dinner. Then there was the ordinary Friday evening of watching television until bedtime. Since Toni had work all of Easter it was just me going south.

Saturday was a day of fixing before the big day. So I spent the day mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, moving loose earth, playing with the dog, and shopping with my mum for the Easter feast we were going to have the day after. It was a great day. The first really warm spring day. 15 degrees and sunny. I even burned my neck pulling weeds.
Half the neighbourhood were having their Easter feast, the other half were doing the first BBQ of the year. My dad took the grill out of storage and we had our first BBQ of the year. Grilled entrecôte :3 Also first dinner of the year outdoors on the patio. The evening was spent watching Smarter than a 5th grader and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2. The Harry Potter movie had me crying ofc.

The next day we all got up early to organise everything. Cleaned the house, made the food and set the tables. The grandparents, my sister + boyfriend, and the boyfriend's parents + brother were coming. Since we were so many my parents had decided to do a buffet instead of a proper three course dinner. The buffet table consisted of three traditional pickled herrings (home made), eggs, clear potato sallad, sallad, smoked salmon with a cold sauce, lamb steak, and bread, butter and cheese. The herrings are traditional Sweden and they show up for Easter, Midsummer and Christmas. Lamb is traditional for Easter, and different kinds of salmon show up for Easter, Midsummer and Christmas. For dessert we had a delicious cake. "The children", i.e. me, my sister, her boyfriend, and his brother (along with Toni) all got our Easter eggs packed with sweets. My sister insisted that we should do an Eatser egg hunt, but she was the only one with her heart in it. A few hours after all the food was finished people departed and my parents and I spent the evening watching TV. Most notably the second movie in the Änglagård-trilogy. Those movies depict everything I don't like about Sweden :P

Yesterday was all a big trip. I got up sort of early to pack my stuff and get on the train that would take me to Malmö. There I bought food for the train ride and had a frappuccino at the café before boarding the train. There I spent 4 hours reading, and also being suffocated by it being a warm day and we were inside a train car without functioning air conditioning.  It actually got to the point where the train staff went around the train handing out cartons of water to people who needed it. And of course there immediately was an idiot complaining that the water wasn't cold enough -.-' Ungrateful bastards.

I got home (finally), cleaned up some, unpacked and started playing Morrowind. Toni had the night shift so he didn't come home until this morning.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea

Yesterday I played the second part of Burial at Sea DLC.


Burial at Sea connected Infinite to the first BioShock in a beautiful way. I don't want to spoil anything, but it was amazing how it all connected.

The general idea is that the events in BioShock Infinite happened first, then the events in Burial at Sea, and finally the events in BioShock and BioShock 2 happened in consecutive order. The final scene you see after the end credits in Burial at Sea episode 2 gives you the idea that the beginning moments of BioShock have just happened.

And everything evolves around...
Would you kindly...?
Screenshots from Burial at Sea episode 1:

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Farewell to the First Doctor

I have now come as far in Classic Who that it's time to say goodbye to William Hartnell and his First Doctor. The prospect of it was heartbreaking, similar to when 10th left. I liked 1st! I liked him a lot! And I didn't want him to go.

Hartnell's Doctor was childish, mischievous, cute, clever, stubborn, and funny. He had no time for ignorant 20th century humans, and got easily annoyed when Barbara and Ian didn't understand something to do with technology. He was stubborn enough to always try to get his way. He always took everything in his stride and watched in amusement while historical events unfolded. He also had a sentimental side and was always sad to see his companions go - even those that he didn't ask to come along to begin with.

The companions:
Susan. I never liked Susan. She was too childish, too loud, too pushy, too needy, too clingy. Susan had her prime time during the story The Sensorites, where she showed she could actually do something other than cower. I was actually relieved when the Doctor dumped her in 22nd century London after she had fallen in love.
Barbara & Ian. I didn't like any of them to begin with. They were too cliché 60's for me. But Barbara grew on me and she became someone I became attached to. She showed some self-confidence and ability to act on her own in the story The Aztecs. Ian had a big case of Macho and Manlyman and he never really grew on me. Though I was sad to see them both go. Barbara and Ian belong with 1st in the same way that Rose belongs with 10th and Amy and Rory belong with 11th. It doesn't feel right to have one without the other.
Vicki. She was my favourite 1st Doctor companion. Cute and very young, still she understood things and could easily get along both with 20th century Ian & Barbara and the Doctor. Being from 25th century Earth she called The Beatles classical music and she understood much more of the Doctors technological dravel and could translate to Ian and Barbara in a manner they understood. Vicki had a great relationship with the Doctor, and I really liked her. I was so sad when she decided to leave the Tardis and stay in Ancient Greece because she had fallen in love.
Steven. He never grew on me either. Steven had a big case of Hubris, and I don't think he was ever allowed to really shine in an episode. Felt no real sorrow when he left to help lead the recently united people of a planet (very Tin Woodman).
Katarina. It was obvious it would never work out long-term. Katarina was from Ancient Greece and she never really understood anything that happened around her. She seemed like a sweet girl, but she thought she moved among the gods and travelled with the gods.
Sara & Bret. Brother and sister. Only part of one single adventure and I never got any real picture of them. They seemed rash and haughty, both of them.
Dodo. She was obviously supposed to replace Susan and Vicki. I liked her more than Susan, but Vicki was my favourite. I think my favourite story with Dodo was The Celestial Toymaker. She was in too few episodes to leave a very clear impression.
Ben & Polly. Ben is the first male companion that I've come to like. He seems like a nice boy. He isn't macho and he doesn't believe he knows best all the time. I like Polly a lot. She seems like a practical woman who can think for herself.

Favourite creatures: Daleks, Cybermen and Sensorites.

“The Ood-Sphere. I’ve been to this solar system before — years ago. Ages. Close to the planet Sense-Sphere.” — Tenth Doctor,Planet of the Ood
TENTH DOCTOR: Ancient Rome, anything goes.  It’s like Soho…but bigger.DONNA: You’ve been here before, then?TENTH DOCTOR: Hm, ages ago.  Before you ask, that fire had nothing to do with me…well, a little bit.— The Fires of PompeiiHistory According to Doctor Who: The Doctor accidentally gave Nero the idea to burn down Rome. (The Romans)
History According to Doctor Who: Guess where Odysseus got the idea for the Trojan Horse. Go on, guess. (The Myth Makers)