Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Starting over, Tribunal MQ, dwemer ruins

New character

Well, I went ahead and started over, with the knowledge of everything I'd learned the first time in mind. I figure this is a good spot to stop numbering my posts, and just go with titles. (In the picture, my new character is wearing the purple fairy outfit from Clothiers of Vvardenfell.)

This time, I went straight to Balmora, joined the Mages' Guild, bought a common soul gem and a soul trap spell, and teleported to Caldera to sell a trapped Ancestor Ghost soul to Creeper for 4000 drakes. I then proceeded to outfit myself properly, purchased the spells I needed to make some custom effects, and headed to Tel Branora to pick up more empty common soul gems to fill and pay for the custom spells and enchanted items I needed. Fine rings are more than enough to make some nice utility enchanted items, like night eye, healing, bound dagger, hoptoad, slow fall, etc. Much easier to use them rather than deal with the tiny mana pool at the low levels.

Then, I took the transport to Ald'ruhn, and spent about an hour searching for Pemenie so I could do her escort quest and get the Boots of Blinding Speed, to make the agonising run speed into something tolerable. For them to be useful, of course, I needed to make another utility ring to give me enough magic resistence to counteract the blindness side effect of wearing them. As a Breton, I'm 50% immune to negative magic effects anyway, so another 50% was all I needed, and only for 1 second, plenty of time to activate it and then put the boots on.

I also joined House Telvanni again, since I'm playing a mage again, and because I really liked it the first time. Other factions I joined besides the Mages' Guild include the Imperial Cult, the Tribunal Temple, and the Legion, just so I can go and do that Widow Vabdas quest that the quest bug caused the game to skip over the first time through.

Knowing exactly how the magic system works this time around, I made the best spells I was capable of casting, so I'm good in a fight, but I'm a real glass cannon, because one hit will often kill me. Levitation and invisibility are my friends.

Tribunal continued

The fact that I've started another character doesn't mean I'm done playing my first one, though. I'm quite curious about all the locations in Tribunal, and I've been continuing along in that. However, something has just happened that has turned me off from it. Wasn't I just complaining about ash storms? And guess what happens in Tribunal, as you advance the main quest? Ash storms. With the added insult that you, the player, are the one who is required to bring them about, in order to advance in the main quest. Why is it that Bethesda always seems to include events in the main questline that uglify the game world, reduce its already-meagre inhabitants, or otherwise create nuisances for the player? Do they want players to get to an irritating point, and then plow through the rest of the main quest in the hopes of getting things back to normal? Because that's what I do, and I wish I didn't have to.

More extensive dwarven ruins

A good thing about Tribunal is that it includes a very large dwemer ruin with unique architecture, set pieces, and items, along with some pretty strong physical evidence for which of the many conflicting stories may be true, regarding what happened to the dwarves.

Aesthetically, I much prefer the more elegant, ornate, rather Victorian wrought-brasswork of the Oblivion dwemer architecture, such as what we see in the Orrery, as opposed to the heavy duty Industrial Revolution look with the mottled rust/copper plate of Morrowind. If I decide to make a dwarven mod, I would attempt to bring some of that elegant look to Morrowind.

Interestingly, these ruins have a blue and green lighting style, as opposed to the orange and red of the Vvardenfell ruins. I haven't actually seen any lava yet, only water. Also, these have tilework instead of being all heavy metal walls and floors. Perhaps this is because the metal is only necessary in the lava-working depths? In any case, if these ruins are about the same age as the ones on Vvardenfell (and I have no reason to doubt they are), then I interpret this as a good indication of the varying styles of Dwemer architecture that we should see in a fully-realised dwarven city.

This place seemed more artisan than industrial, with workshops, eating areas, and less spartan quarters than the ones in the lavaworks. I'm guessing the lava-oriented ruins are primarily concerned with generating power (geothermal steam power, obviously), and facilities like this are primarily concerned with routing it and using it.

Tribunal is also home to the biggest daedric shrine I've seen yet, and one of the most creatively designed, as well.


  1. Ahhh the Oblivion Portals, yes. While exploring Oblivion, I did the first portal, cleared it all, super cool. But I hated how I'd be just going around some beautiful landscape and BOOM! Portal of Doom!!

    I am still to go back to Morrowind, will probably to this week. I loved the stealthy archer in Oblivion, so I should be happy continuing my kinda sorta hunter on Morrowind.

  2. Yes, those irritating gates, messing up the scenery. And the "disable" console command didn't seem to work on the debris!

    Archery seems pretty powerful in Morrowind, once you can get your skill up enough to actually hit the targets. And I like the variety of marksman items, like the throwing stars, throwing axes and daggers, darts, and crossbows as well. ^_^