It is a question that hits the lips of literally any RPG fan, which is the best Elder Scrolls RPG in recent memory. Now there will be the odd person who will jump in and say number 2 Daggerfall or even Arena, but given how both of those games were so hard, in terms of just getting out of the first dungeon I will not regard them in this little fight as things changed when Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind came out, and it is this sandbox gaming Elder Scrolls we will get into.
Now for the sake of the people who need to actually be told this yes, there are spoilers ahead, so if you have not played any Elder Scrolls game then go play it and come back to this blog at a later date.
I am going to use a few categories to which to use, the main story, character progression, environments, RPG elements, side quest variations and specifically for Elder Scrolls lore content. Now this will be a series of blogs on this subject, and each will have a winner at the end of each round. So expect more of these around Elder Scrolls and the lore of the games.
Starting off in Sedya Neen where you carted off a ship, you go through character progression and told go to Balmora where you are greeted by a member of the Blades, who do come up quite regularly in the main stories of Elder Scrolls games, hmm I wonder why. You find out the Emporer thinks you may fulfil a prophecy of the ashlanders that Lord Nerevar will return, born on a certain day to uncertain parents Incarnate Moon and star reborn.
There is a hell of a lot more around this prophecy that I will go more into in the Lore section of the blog. But given how you have to go through trials and almost move up the ladder of the quest line to reach been called Neverarine, it is a very rewarded and enjoyable main quest line. As you progress you see the reactions of the NPC’s around you change, the world that you explore almost evolves to how you progress within the main story. The main change has been the Ordinators of Vivec City who almost can try to attack you when you get to a certain point, but stop after you complete the main quest.
The main story even encourages you to go out into the world of Vvardenfell and explore it to boost your level up. This I will go into a lot later on.
The Emporer is assassinated, you were in the right jail cell and you get out to find a guy called Martin Septim to give him the Amulet of Kings, but it gets stolen and you have to retrieve it to light the Dragonfires and cut off Oblivion from Nirn.
Now during the main quest, you may notice certain lore type moments, Mankar Cameron been one, when you meet him. I will go over this in the lore section. But you have to contend with his mythic dawn cult to collect the Amulet of Kings, pass it to the heir so they ca\n ascend to the Throne. The only problem is Mehrunes Dagon shows up on Tamriel. So Martin Septim smashes the amulet and turns into Akatosh himself and defeats Mehrunes Dagon.
Now the main story is almost down to luck, you were in the cell with the secret doorway, that is it. You just get lumbered to do the main quest and you are stuck with it. It is not a really enjoyable main quest either, it is quite short for the main quest and the only excitement out of it is watching, yes watching, the final boss fight between two Gods, which does, or at least did, look awesome.
Well, you are born Dragonborn, and dragons have returned to Tamriel, so it all sounds cool as hell. The World Eater Alduin has returned and you have to defeat him, given you are the only Dragonborn known to exist right now. The blades are here again, but a lot has happened since we last met them in Oblivion. They
The blades are here again, but a lot has happened since we last met them in Oblivion. They are no longer protectors of the Emporer, the 2nd Aldmeri Dominion is hunting all members down and the Aldmeri Dominion has subsequently virtually taken over the empire and banned the worship of Talos, so instead of 9 divines there are only 8.
Subsequently, this main story does revolve a lot around Elder Scrolls lore, Dwemer, Dragons and even the hint of possibly the smallest Dragon Break in the world of Elder Scrolls on Tamriel, and it doesn’t involve a Numidium, more on this is a later blog.
But again, similar to that of Oblivion, but not in the same way, you do not earn this role, you are just given it for the convenience of the game. No given you cannot earn it anyway may seem like I am been picky, but what happened to that interaction of people not believing you, something I never myself witness when exploring. Everyone just believes you because a bunch of old men call for you or because Dragons have come back. Now you do get a bit of cautiousness from main NPC’s two to be precise, but that is it. Where are the general population as you go around saying stuff like they do not believe it, It is all a ploy from one side o the civil war to frighten the other or just plain not believing in the so called legend?
Morrowind. The main quest is not short, it gives you the chance to explore, it even tells you to do so. You earn the title of Nerevarine by earning the trust and faith of the people you need and not get the title by sheer luck, in Oblivions case, or born into it like Skyrim. So by the end of the main quest line, you have fulfilled each part of the prophecy through your ability to complete the quests and do what is required, as only the incarnate of Lord Nerevar would be able to.
You’re not allowed into certain areas of the map because you will be killed pretty damn quickly, which makes it more rewarding when you do go into these parts of the map that when you survive you have earnt the right to so.
It is ultimately the sense of reward through completing quests that make this game feel special, not completing a certain quest because the enemies have been automatically scaled to your level.
The lore backing the story up and how these moments came to be, the Heart of Lorkhan and the rebuilding of the Numidium, how did these things come to be. Why Dagoth Ur loses his marbles, why did he leave Lord Nerevar’s side? The events that led the 3 members of the Tribunal to become demi-gods and why they want access to the Heart of Lorkhan once again. All these things and the fact this game changed the mould for RPG’s at the time make this main story very special indeed, and something I hope is brought forward into the next Elder Scrolls game.