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Morrowind Low-Spoiler Directory of Quests and other Cool Things


Welcome to my Morrowind hints page. (-: If you're new to this series of low-spoiler computer game walkthroughs, the idea behind them is to point gamers towards things they might not have tried in each game rather than giving step-by-step instructions or divulging puzzle solutions. Strategy and riddles we can all figure out on our own, but we ALL miss a quest, puzzle, character interaction, or other cool things to do on one of the maps now and then, especially in a gameworld as huge as Morrowind's. If you are looking for the solution to a particular puzzle, I recommend the UHS site--due to the unique way their pages are set up you can only see one hint at a time, so you can get the solution to one pesky quest without ruining all the others for yourself. My site, meanwhile, focuses on exactly the things UHS and other traditional walkthroughs don't: the non-critical parts of the game, little detours you can take, extra details you might miss if you did only what was strictly necessary to complete the game. If you want even fewer spoilers--you're considering whether or not to buy the game, for example--please try my Morrowind Review page to find all the pertinant information in one convenient spoiler-free package.

Now, on with the game!

Morrowind Review
Morrowind Hints and Tips
Morrowind Walkthrough
Morrowind Quest List
Morrowind Cheat Codes
Morrowind Links (Patches, Trainers, Editors, Maps, and Forums)


Morrowind Hints and Tips

Here are some general gameplay suggestions for making the most out of Morrowind:

Plot: The main plot in Morrowind takes a long, long time to get going. You can be 30 game-hours into this thing and still have no idea what you're supposed to be doing there besides running errands for some guy and his guild. Don't give up on it; the game definitely does suffer from poor pacing and an aimless feel through most of the early game, but a relevant plot will eventually introduce itself, and till then, you have dozens of fun side quests to entertain yourself with. Don't feel like you have to be in a hurry to do anything the main plot people tell you to--that will just leave you frustrated as you dash from place to place doing stupid, pointless tasks for them. Take your time, explore, and do side quests. It's much more fun this way.

Exploration: Morrowind's gameplay is so evocatively old-school and its main plot so aimless that it's tempting to just start lawnmowing-- exploring and clearing the continent sector by sector. Don't even think about it. Really. This is a very non-linear game, it's true, but if you just start exploring around randomly, you will find yourself constantly running into the middle of side quests whose beginnings and resolutions you will now never get a chance to see. There is nothing more aggravating then discovering a new dungeon, exploring it, and freeing a prisoner who exclaims "Oh, Princess Peony sent you to rescue me? She'll be expecting this, then. Here [hands you a love letter from some guy you've never heard of to some woman you've never heard of]." I really wish quest dungeons would just start out locked, so that you'd know which ones are safe to explore and which ones you'll want to come back to later. As that isn't the case, I unfortunately must recommend not messing with dungeons, and not traveling to towns on the map, until you receive a quest or a rumor from an NPC suggesting that you go there. Later in the game, when you've finished with all your faction quests, you can embark on a more aggressively exploratory tour of the continent. Or you can just use a walkthrough to let you know which places are safe to explore without robbing yourself of more substantial fun later.

Character Classes: Character creation in Morrowind is nicely open-ended, and there's no one right way to go about it. You will get your option of either picking a predetermined character class, customizing your own, or letting the computer select one for you on the basis of an Ultima-style multiple-choice quiz. Unlike in the Ultima games, the moral questions in the quiz have nothing to do with the game, so I'd definitely recommend against that option; beyond that, your choice is not critical, because you will have the option to progress in any or all of the skills as the game progresses anyway. If your barbarian decides he wants to learn magic later on, he can. The only issues to keep in mind are that major skills, minor skills, and skills within your specialization all increase faster than the others, and that increasing your major and minor skills is the only way to gain levels; so try not to leave a skill you're really going to want to get good at as a miscellaneous skill, or place a skill you may not be using very often as a major skill. You will level fastest and with the least tedium if you have major and minor skills that you use a lot in normal gampelay and therefore improve a lot naturally (without having to sit and click to practice them over and over). Your main weapon, main armor, block, athletics, alchemy, mercantile, security, sneak, and any magic disciplines your character's likely to be using a lot (restoration and mysticism, for starters) are skills that tend to increase very nicely on their own (unless you are avoiding stealing or magic use, of course). Speechcraft, acrobatics, and extra weapon and armor skills tend to take a lot of intentional practicing to increase.

Race: As with most CRPGs, each race has slightly different innate abilities to take into tactical consideration, but the race you choose will have no effect on the plot or quests of the game. You will have a different character portrait and paperdoll, and NPCs of the same race as you will have a slightly better disposition when talking to you, but there will be no limitation on anything you can do in the game based on your character's race. Dark elves will be treated as "outlanders" in Morrowind just as much as any other race.

Gender: Your gender will affect your paperdoll and a few NPC reactions towards you, but the only really important difference is that male characters will have the option to pursue a romance subplot with several associated quests, whereas there are no romance subplots or extra quests for female characters. If you've already played the game as one gender and are playing a second game, you should definitely try it as the other.

Settings: Definitely turn on the subtitles, as people's voices are not always audible even when you're directly facing them (shifting a bit to the left or the right sometimes fixes this glitch, but you don't want to take a chance of missing it.)

Time Management: There is no time limit to this game and your character doesn't age. If it takes you six years to deliver Caius' package, fine. So don't be afraid to rest as often as you need to or get sidetracked as often as you want to.

Quest Management: It's impossible to complete all the quests in this game in one play-through (unless you cheat, and even then it doesn't work quite right). There are dozens of quests associated with each of the three Great Houses, and you can only join one of them. (It's okay to join any or all of the other guilds and factions, though the more you join, the fewer people you'll have left over to rob or fight with, obviously.) There's also one set of quests that will only be offered to a man. This is a huge game anyway and I recommend playing it twice to get full enjoyment out of it; on the first play-through, go ahead and wander around and accept only quests you like and don't worry about juggling conflicting quests or playing two factions off against each other or hosing yourself out of a good quest by killing someone you're going to need later, and on the second play-through, avoid killing any named characters or throwing away any unique items, and use my walkthrough (and possibly a cheat or two) to make sure you're not missing out on any quests or subplots. Some people like to play the game over and over to try out different races and classes, but they're less distinctive than they seem at first blush, and there really wasn't enough flexibility to the plot or the quest sequences to hold my interest for more than two games, particularly since this is such a long game to begin with.

Factions: Let it never be said this game stints on the megalomania. Besides the prophecy it's your obvious destiny to fulfill, you can rise to the leadership of two different religions (the Imperial Cult and the Tribunal Temple), four different guilds (the Fighters' Guild, Mages' Guild, Thieves' Guild, and an assassins'/executioners' guild called the Morag Tong), the Imperial Legion, the Blades, and one of the three Dunmer Great Houses. And people think the dark elves are insular! You don't HAVE to join any of these factions at all to complete the main quest (except for the Blades), but there's nothing to prevent you from rising all the way to the top of each and every one of them, either. (The exception is that you can only belong to one of the three Great Houses, and I strongly avoid trying to hack a way around that, because their quests involve attacking each other and I'm not sure the game's AI can handle simultaneous contradictory quests.) There are a few other factions you join as a result of the main quest, too, and there are also vampire clans, one of which you can join if you become a vampire, but vampirism will preclude your rising in ranks in most other factions. Of course, you can always finish the vampire quests, get cured, and go back to the other factions, but rising in them simultaneously is not going to be an option for you. With all the other factions, though, it is. Belonging to two different factions that detest each other will have no practical ramifications for you at all. You will never be asked to choose between them, nor will you ever lose a quest opportunity because of belonging to the wrong faction. So you have absolutely nothing to lose from joining them all--or, for that matter, from taking all of them over. As far as I know it is not possible to officially join the Twin Lamps, the Camonna Tong, or the Sixth House no matter what you do.

Skill Improvement: You can grow your abilities dramatically through practice. This means that if you sit around using "persuasion" on Fargoth over and over again, your Speechcraft score will steadily rise. This is effective but very boring. You don't need to do it to win the game but if you enjoy it, there is no downside to skill training, ever, so knock yourself out.

NPCs: You can't have a party in Morrowind, but occasionally an NPC will have to follow you for one quest-related reason or another. When this happens, move slowly, avoid scrambling up slopes, check frequently to make sure the NPC is still following you, and most importantly, whatever you do DON'T GO IN THE WATER. Their AI cannot handle swimming, and they will try to walk along the bottom of the river and eventually run out of air. I found an NPC who was supposed to be following me floating face-down in the lake behind me once. Oops. If an NPC you're supposed to be escorting keeps getting into fights and being killed en route, you can talk to them and tell them to wait for you, then clear out all the monsters yourself and go back for them. They will never get into combat or otherwise injured while waiting.

Sticky Fingers: In one regard, this is a wonderful game for thievery. You can pick up anything and everything in this game, as long as no one is watching you at the time, and it's completely up to you how you apply it. You can refuse to ever take anything from anyone you have not defeated honorably in combat, and win the game. You can steal only from NPCs who piss you off. You can be a methodical kleptomaniac, stripping every single house in town of every last pillow and table fork. You can be a judicious cat burglar, taking only things you really need for your mission. You can be a serial reader, breaking into everybody's house to read their books but leaving without stealing anything; you can make everyone believe in pixies by breaking into their houses, taking all their cheap herbs and stale bread, and leaving behind one of the expensive potions you made from these ingredients as payment. It's totally open-ended and absolutely up to you.

Unfortunately, though the game goes out of its way to encourage open-ended career paths, this is a highly frustrating game for would-be thieves. Any object you take is indelibly marked as stolen, and not only that, since the game can't tell individual instances of the same object apart, EVERY OTHER OBJECT OF THE SAME TYPE is also now indelibly marked as stolen. So the next time you are arrested (as you will be, eventually), every object you've ever stolen one of will disappear. You can avoid this by dropping the stolen item on the floor before the guards get there, but dropping, say, all your herbs and potions every time you see a guard barrelling down on you is just about as fun as scrubbing the bathroom floor. So it's all well and good to take things like plates and pitchers that you're never going to need, but picking up an herb out of somebody's basket means you're probably going to lose 20 of that herb sometime down the line. It's a real pain in the ass.

The Law: Don't pick locks or pick up anything that you see lying around outside anywhere while any NPC can see you; you will be immediately reported to the police and possibly also attacked, even if the object doesn't seem to belong to anyone in particular. Wait until an NPC has left, or get them to turn their backs to you first, or lure them away someplace secluded and murder them, if you're the ethically challenged type. CRPG's are stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one: they can make NPCs completely unperceptive to being robbed blind, which is unrealistic and a little goofy, or they can make NPCs attack you for picking the wrong things up, which makes the game a pain in the ass as you try to figure out which things are permissible to take and who can see you at any given moment. Morrowind chose the latter. The flip side of this is that if there are no witnesses, you can do anything you want, and since each house is its own 'area' as far as the game mechanics are concerned, that means you can freely rob or murder anyone who is alone in his or her house. (In fact, if you pick up all their things, they will curse at you and yell for help, but their opinion of you won't even decrease!) This last bit is obviously an exploit, though, and may be fixed by later patches.

Conversations: Morrowind conversations get tiresome very fast; every NPC on the continent has the same stock comments to make about everything on the dialogue list, with 0-2 exceptions. So you pretty much have to scroll through the whole list of repetitive sound bites every time you meet somebody to see whether they have one piece of useful unique information or not. It's very tedious, but is the only way to find many of the smaller quests. In my walkthrough I've tried to identify useful conversational partners and what to ask them about to get their meaningful comment. Also, you can't lie in this game. When you have a choice between "say you'll do a task" or "refuse," for example, the game takes you at face value. You can't refuse and then do it anyway, or agree and then fink on the questgiver. If you promise you won't tell the authorities about something, you will never have the option to double-cross the NPC. So when you're offered a choice of responses, choose carefully.

Neatness: Always dispose of all corpses. It's aggravating that they don't automatically disappear if they're empty, forcing you to click a tiny button each time you slay anything, but if you leave corpses lying around, the game will have to remember each one's position and contents and will begin to run slower, so it's important to do. If you click "dispose of corpse" the game will automatically put all the victim's stuff into your inventory, even if you don't want it, but at least this saves you from having to click twice.

Money: Morrowind has the screwiest economy I've ever seen in a computer game. First of all, only two merchants in the game ever have more than 1000 gold pieces to spend, and neither of those ever has more than 10,000. As you advance in levels, you start regularly finding objects worth 30,000 coins; no one will ever be able to afford to buy these from you. The fact that this is insanely illogical aside, it's also a real headache for you the player, because it costs 80,000 gold pieces to enchant a good magic item, so you are going to wish you could liquefy those assets. Getting them into cash form can be an hour-long rigmarole of carefully selling and re-buying expensive goods over the course of a few game days, though. It helps if you shop at the Creeper's in Caldera, since he at least keeps 5000 in his kitty. There's something bizarre about the immense expense of item enchantment, too. You can shell out 30,000 coins to create an object that is then worth 45. This really has to have been a bug. You can enchant your own items for free, of course, but then you have a chance of failure, and will wind up reloading a lot, so it's aggravating either way. Your best bet may be to ignore loot that costs too much completely, stashing it in your hideout for a retirement fund or something, and then exploit the other hole in Morrowind's economy, the absence of supply and demand cycles. If you can scrape together the 3,000 or so to enchant a sword to cast "soul trap" on touch when it strikes, you can then go around and turn $5 soul gems into $500 soul gems every time you kill a wandering monster. Merchants never get tired of buying these, not even after you've sold your 2000th cliff racer soul, and most of them are within their restricted daily budgets.

Alchemy: Alchemy is fun and profitable. Don't sell raw herbs until you're used to the alchemy system, because in most cases they will be worth 10-20 times as much if you combine them into potions first. You can mix potions you will use, like cures, detection, and resistance potions; you can mix useless potions to profit off of their ingredients; and if you really want to power up, you can mix lots and lots of intelligence potions. The higher your intelligence, the more powerful the potions you make will be, so repeating the cycle of drinking an intelligence potion and then making another one a few times will leave you with an insanely high intelligence and the ability to make spell effect potions that are basically permanent (not to mention worth thousands of gold pieces.) Alchemy equipment is very heavy to lug around with you--I always just left all my gear in my hideout (the house of a criminal I killed during an early quest, in my case, until I got my own stronghold). Then I just went back there whenever I wanted to mix up my stuff.

Bugs: There aren't any critical bugs in Morrowind (mistakes you could make that would inadvertantly doom your game), but the program does tend to crash fairly often. Bethesda Softworks is still actively supporting Morrowind, so be sure you have their latest patch installed and contact their customer support line if you need to. One thing they suggest is lowering the hardware acceleration on your computer if you're experiencing a lot of crashing. (Make sure you turn on subtitles if you do this, because you won't be able to hear things people say without the hardware acceleration.) Be sure to save often and keep backup savegames as you play.

Cheating: There's an easy-to-use cheat console in Morrowind, which is a feature I always really appreciate (since it usually allows you to eliminate aggravating inconveniences of the game). However, unlike some other games, it is VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO OVERUSE IT. Increasing your skill levels, for example, will make it much, much harder for you to level up (since there are no experience points in this game, you level only when your skill levels increase, which gets progressively more difficult. Cheating your skills up does not count towards leveling!) Furthermore, cheating yourself money and fancy magic items really does tend to ruin the game, because half the fun of Morrowind is helping your character progress from a stained and ratty-looking shirt and iron dagger to a spiff piece of armor and cool-looking magic weapon. If you give yourself templar armor and a daedric weapon right off the bat, the game is far, far less fun.

The cheats I personally like to indulge in are boosting my speed (walking around town slowly is very aggravating, but directly boosting athletics will rob you of levels), boosting my personality (I really get sick of everyone yelling "Make it quick, outlander!" and "Leave me alone!" whenever I get anywhere near them), and awarding myself the utilitarian spells mark and recall, intervention, night eye, detect, water breathing, and levitate. I find it very annoying to have to find and purchase spells that improve gameplay, so I prefer to start out of the block with those spells in hand. It's also OK to boost miscellaneous skills (those that are not minor or major skills) if you want to, since there's no benefit to raising them naturally (though I've been told that a benefit has been added in one of the later patches.) When I'm playing with my children (who have no patience for tactics or most spellcasting), I'll often give myself a few thousand health and fatigue points to keep myself alive during their "iron man" form of gameplay.

If you'd like to know how to activate these cheat codes, visit my page of Morrowind Cheats.

Mods: Morrowind's code is extremely encouraging of modules (in fact, there's a mod toolkit that ships with the game), so unsurprisingly, there is a huge modding community for this game that is still very active years after the game's release. I can't even begin to list all the mods that are out there, but a few that are worth installing even as you play the game for the first time are the Better Bodies module, which not only eliminates many of the distracting physical problems with the 3D models but changes the weird burlap underwear women are wearing for normal underwear, and this excellent page of Improved Faces (no Redguards or Khajiit available, but those faces already looked pretty good to start with). If you want more, there's a huge collection of miscellaneous mods at RPGPlanet.



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