Tamriel Infinium: Five things to do while waiting for Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind early access

I have always found this part of the development cycle to be the worst part. Right now, we are sitting at the point in Elder Scrolls Online when you really don’t want to move forward progressing your character because some of the endgame or character progression, in general, will change next week. However, you are very excited about what is to come in the next expansion, and you really want to play ESO at the same time.

It’s a strange phenomenon, and one that is unique to MMOs. When Skyrim was about to release Dragonborn a few years back, it had been a little bit since we had visited Skyrim. For me personally, I had a little game called Star Wars: The Old Republic that I had been playing, so when Dragonborn came out, I replayed Skyrim to refresh my memory before jumping into that expansion. However, MMOs are meant to be played all the time, and well, we’ve been playing ESO this whole time leading up to Morrowind. How do we do to channel our excitement?

Well, I have some fun suggestions for every Elder Scrolls fan. These are my five suggestions for things to do while waiting for ESO: Morrowind to release.

Skyrim mods

I have always enjoyed fan-created content in video games. When I was a kid, I would go over to my friends’ houses to see what Excitebike maps they had created. I even liked to mod games that didn’t officially support mods. I helped run the Star Wars Galaxies mod site. I loved taking apart the texture maps and replacing them with creations of my own. Although I haven’t spent as much time on modding as I used to, I still find modding video games a lot of fun, and Skyrim stands as one of the best moddable games to date.

Sure, many of the famous mods are about how to enhanced or undress the female NPCs or change the dragons into sheep or something, but Skyrim actually has one of the best modding communities on the internet. The creations that some modders have made are breathtaking, and really enhance the game itself, not just chest size.

Nexus Mods has probably the largest collection of Skyrim mods, but in the spirit of ESO: Morrowind releasing next week, let me point you to Skywind. Unfortunately, you can’t download this mod because it’s still in production. But when released, it will combine the story and gameplay of Morrowind with the engine and graphics of Skyrim. It’s really an amazing-looking project, and if you would like to participate in its production, the TES Renewal Project is looking for a number of volunteers, including voice actors, on its website.

Play Morrowind

Why in the world would I want to play a game released in 2002? That is a good question because the graphics are very dated and it’s a single-player game. However, like nearly all Bethesda games, Morrowind can be modded and has a wonderfully deep storyline.

When Morrowind was a new game in the early aughts, I thought that all RPGs had deep stories. Ultima Online, EverQuest, Tomb Raider, and Silent Hill were the games of the day, and I was looking at Asheron’s Call and the upcoming Star Wars Galaxies to take most of my game time. So I missed the wondrous time of Morrowind. Thankfully, Steam has TES III: Morrowind for cheap: $14.99 for US customers.

And if the dated graphics are an issue, Nexus Mods has a pretty great Morrowind mod called Morrowind Overhaul (which is actually a combination of several mods) that will update the graphics and sound of the game. The environments have a really good and modern feel, even if the character models still feel older, circa 2010. The game becomes a lot more playable with the Overhaul changes.

Read lore books

We are all readers here. I mean, if you weren’t readers, you would be watching a video about what to do while you wait for ESO: Morrowind. instead of reading this article. And one of the biggest reading projects you can dive into are the random stories scattered around ESO. Don’t lie to me: You have not read all of those.

I could say that you should run around Tamriel clicking on every bookshelf you can find to get the authentic feel of collecting all the lore about the game, but fortunately, you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. The Imperial Library has all the stories from ESO gathered in one place. And might I suggest the stories about the Ayleids?

Ayleids are the ancestors of the Dunmer. Although the Ayleid stories touch on nearly every region in Tamriel because they attempted to rule or conquer the whole continent at some point, the story of the Ayleids and the Dwemer is one of triumph and ultimate tragedy. It also might help you understand why the inclusion of Daedric Prince Azura in the first few moments of the Vvardenfell story in ESO is so significant.

Play through Stonefalls and Deshaan

From a technical standpoint, Stonefalls and Deshaan are actually a part of Morrowind, but they were playable areas when the game released. With One Tamriel, it doesn’t matter what your level or your starting faction — you can jump into these two areas right away.

Morrowind is ruled by the Tribunal, three living gods. They are all powerful and actively participate in the daily lives of the Dunmer. Vivec currently governs the island of Vvardenfell in his palace in Vivec City, but his sister-god Almalexia governs the southern regions of Morrowind from Mournhold. If you’re lucky, you might even get a chance to speak to her.

Go outside

Lastly, you should consider going outside for a week. Although it is a stereotype that we nerdy folk don’t get outside much, that’s not why I’m suggesting that. In most of the northern hemisphere, it’s late spring and everything is beautiful outside right now when it’s not raining. We all know that next week when Morrowind launches, we’re going to be strapped to our desk chairs exploring every facet of Vvardenfell. By the time we’re done, it will be early summer, stupid hot, and less enjoyable to go outside, so take advantage of it now.

Those are my five ideas. Which ones are you going to try? And if you have any suggestions, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Traverse the troubled land of Tamriel in the Elder Scrolls Online. Larry Everett will be your guide here in Tamriel Infinium every other week as you explore together the land created by ZeniMax and Bethesda. If you have any burning questions, send them his way via email or via Twitter.
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