Elder Scrolls Online’s latest DLC Morrowind is open to players in early access. Having pre-ordered the DLC, I jumped in naturally. I was eager to see for myself if the hype is justified. For those who don’t follow the Elder Scrolls, Morrowind is an iconic location within the series. It even had a title entry, the third game in the series which received universal acclaim at the time. It propelled Todd Howard and Bethesda into RPG folklore.
So is Morrowind for the MMORPG a nostalgic cash grab or is it a real deal DLC? Here are my three observations from my first impressions of playing the DLC since Monday.
The Storytelling Has Improved Significantly
The first thing I noticed is that more than any previous DLC, Morrowind has the tighter story. Not only does it incorporate iconic characters from the third game such as Vivec, but the new stories surrounding them is intriguing. From the very first moment you step on Vvardenfell, the plot begins at a high gear and never slows down.
There’s a lot of new quests in Morrowind. Side quests and adventure quests litter the starting town of Vivec City, and you have the choice to follow them linearly or go do your own thing. Whatever you choose, the narrative is excellent. Some these plot points and characters are so well thought out that I find it hard to believe this is an MMORPG rather than an RPG. The family story line in the city of Balmora is my personal favorite. And if I’m being really honest, I think it’s the best storyline in the entire game. It’s got everything. From action fighting sequences, to sneaking, to exploration and all the while moving the plot and it’s great characters along. If you’re big on story, this DLC delivers.
Production Value Is Amazing
I remember this vividly. Upon logging in for the first time to check out the Morrowind Early access, I was greeted with a spanking cinematic. The reel flew around the island, with that iconic soundtrack blaring in the background. It’s going to stay with me for a long time. What a great way for an MMORPG to welcome you to it’s latest DLC. That really set the stage for what’s about to come.
The log-in screen itself has some pretty massive changes. The background theme is replaced with the latest tunes, and it’s amazing. Production value overall of this update is really impressive. The visuals in the DLC looks great, and when combined with the music, you just get that sense of adventure. Because it’s a big DLC and loads of players are expecting a good show, it feels like Zenimax have upped the ante. Dialogue cut-scenes and cinematic feel a lot livelier that the base game. Heck even the writing and voice work feels way better in this update. And that does wonders for the game.
The New Warden Class Is Really Fun
Of course, I have to talk about the new Warden class. A lot of players remain skeptical about this nature loving class archetype, as it does things similar to the much loved Templar. It’s got three skill lines as do the other classes, and players can tank, DPS or heal. What sets it a part and makes it fun for me are obviously the new animations of these skills. One in particular in the DPS line, calls down a bird to dive bomb enemies at range.
That same line allows you to summon a bear companion as an ultimate too, and for what it’s worth, that dude does his job. It tanks bosses and gives you the freedom to do whatever you want, much like a Sorcerer and its pet. I’m still coming to grips with the Warden, and time will tell if it’s a well thought out and balanced class that can hold its own against the established ones. But for the time being, I am having a lot of fun with it.