Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 9: There are quests?

I thought I had heard that Morrowind enemies aren't leveled like Oblivion. That is, that the same level creatures appear in the same places, rather than higher level creatures appearing wherever you go after you've leveled up enough. Why, then, when I went back to Seyda Neen, did I see netches all over the place? I spent hours exploring that area looking for the dead tax collector at level 1, and never saw a single netch, and now the place is covered with them.


Anyway, this play session I decided to do something about the mana issue. According to an archived usenet discussion I found here:

"With Daggerfall, most players felt magic was overpowered. So they tried to temper that with Morrowind and went too far the other way, something they've admitted in interviews."

I haven't been able to find these interviews, so I don't know how accurate this may be.

Anyway, I tried the trick I read about on UESP, that if you create a spell that drains your intelligence to 0, when it wears off your mana should completely refresh itself. Not exactly what I was looking for (a bit too quick and easy) but I went to buy a drain intelligence spell anyway. However, when I made the spell, it didn't work. I thought perhaps one of the unofficial patches or code fixes might have done away with this effect, so I just searched for a mod instead. (I later learned that since I'm a Breton with built-in magicka resistance, I would need to include a "weakness to magic" spell effect in addition to the drain, or else it wouldn't go all the way below 0 as it needs to).

At any rate, I'm happy with the one I chose (out of several). The Magicka Restoration Mod gives our old frenemy Ranis Arthys a spell that restores mana over several seconds. (I like the choice of vendor, because she won't sell spells at all unless you've reached a certain rank in the guild, so you have to suffer without it for a while). It's a relatively small amount, so I need to cast it 4 or 5 times to completely restore my mana pool, and this makes combat more manageable but still very challenging. It's not much different than quaffing a mana potion, just without taking up all that weight. However, since this makes "restore magicka" into an effect that can be used in spellmaking, now I can make a custom version of it which restores a smaller amount of mana over a longer amount of time -- a spell to cast at the beginning of a battle, the effects of which will hopefully last throughout the battle. Because "Mage minus Mana = Dead Mage."

Return to Seyda Neen

Back at level 1, while looking for the tax collector I mentioned before, I found a couple of locations that I didn't feel capable of exploring at the time. One was an underwater grotto with nothing but oysters in it. At the time, I didn't have a water breathing spell, and ended up drowning since there aren't a lot of air pockets under there. I still haven't gone back, but there are pearls there for the taking.

The other place I found was the Samarys Ancestral Tomb, where I found some ghosts and skeletons who were too tough for me, so I left. I found out later this tomb contains a special, unique ring made just for mages like me: the Mentor's Ring, which provides a constant boost to intellect and willpower. At least as long as you're wearing it. I'm finding it hard to manage my rings. This is a ring that I never want to remove, but it seems that whenever I choose a spell effect from one of my other rings, there's no telling which of the two rings I'm currently wearing it will choose to remove to make way for the other one. I want this ring to be protected from ever being removed!


I made my first attempt at cooking with Complete Morrowind. I tried making Comberry Marmalade, so I activated a bowl while I had a comberry in my possession, and it told me I needed more. So I got more, then it said I needed fire. So I picked up a torch, then it said I needed sugar. I picked up some sugar (I've been storing this crafting stuff around my house for an occasion like this). Unfortunately, my first dish failed, and I didn't have enough comberry to try it again.

I also tried drying a rotten log by putting it next to my fireplace, but nothing happened. I tried picking it up, and it asked if I wanted to dry it. I said yes, and it said "you have to be outside to dry a log!" I was out by the ancestral tomb before I remembered I was still carrying it around, so I dropped it to try out the drying. This time it allowed me to start drying it, but it was still going by the time I was finished in there, and it wouldn't let me pick it up again until it finished drying (which would take several days). I should have left it outside the guild in Balmora...

Also picked up a sewing machine from a clothier in Caldera, but haven't been able to find any spools of thread for sale to make use of it yet.

More exploring

Back to Samarys Ancestral Tomb... From there, I wanted to head to Pelegiad, a place I had passed by on my way to Balmora from Seyda Neen the first time. There's a spell vendor in the fort there who sells an Absorb Health spell that I want, so I can craft a warlock-style "drain life" spell. I was thinking of combining that with a custom spell that restores my mana while also damaging my health in exchange, to really get that warlock-style "life tap" going on!

Heading in that direction, I found a little rocky mountain pass that looked ominous and interesting, so I poked around there for a while, even though it wasn't on the way. I found a curious bell on a pole with nothing else around. I rang the bell, and got a cryptic journal entry, and nothing else seemed to happen. I couldn't find any information on what this was about. Nearby, there was a cave with bandits in it, so I took the time to raid that place. This was the first place where I got to try out the tactics of the mana restoration spell, and it was indeed a challenge, but quite fair and rather fun. I tend to make use of damage-over-time spells combined with paralysis and/or invisibility. Paralysis is best because they stay put, and it gives me time to cast other spells, but sometimes enemies can resist magic, so this is not always reliable. Invisibility is more reliable since it's cast on myself (and I even have a ring that'll do it instantly, without fail), but strangely whenever I turn invisible, the enemies always take off running, much like the warlock's "fear" spell, making it possible they may alert others. Just have to decide based on the circumstances.

This cave had a great deal of loot to carry to my pack guar outside the entrance. Here I discovered the usefulness of the bottles of Sujamma, Mazte, Greef, and Flin, which I never carry around due to their weight and negative effects. There were quite a few of these bottles in this cave, and I ended up drinking a few to boost my strength so I could carry 450 pounds of loot for 60 seconds, long enough to get the stuff to my guar. Still took a couple of trips, and if there were any enemies remaining I wouldn't have drunk them due to their temporary negative effects, but they make very handy dungeon clean-out drinks.

Instead of continuing on to Pelegiad, I wandered around the area exploring a little more, and found another cave. There were two bandits right near the entrance, and one was a conjurer who summoned a bonewalker or something to fight me, and I died a few times trying to defeat them. This was another small cave, but loaded with loot. So much that my guar couldn't even carry it all, so I left most of it and returned home to unload the useful stuff and off to Creeper and the nearby clothier to unload the stuff I didn't want to keep (Creeper doesn't buy clothes). Next trip I think I'll head straight to Pelegiad, and maybe actually work on a quest or two. But it's been fun just exploring and experimenting with the crafting, so I'm in no real hurry.

1 comment:

  1. The life tap spell sounds interesting, but adding a Damage Health on self effect will increase the cost of the spell and make it harder to cast. If you want a spell that damages an enemy and restores your magicka you'd probably have to combine Absorb Magicka and Damage Health. Such a spell can only be made in the CS.